On this date: Kobe Bryant’s ‘amnesty game’ versus the Mavericks

In 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers were struggling despite the presence of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Right after the All-Star break, there was a lot of doubt they would make the playoffs.

Bryant said they would indeed make the playoffs, and on Feb. 24 versus Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks, he made a statement.

Prior to the contest, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said the Lakers should consider releasing Bryant from their roster, using the NBA’s amnesty provision, and the five-time champ was irked.

He went out and scored 38 points on 13-of-21 shooting, to go along with 12 rebounds and seven assists, while leading L.A. to a 103-99 win.

Afterward, he posted this tweet that took a shot at Cuban’s comment.

Behind Bryant’s leadership, the Lakers sneaked into the playoffs that April. But it came at a huge price. He tore his Achilles toward the end of the regular season, and he was never the same player again.

But that season was yet another example of his iron-clad will and unwillingness to ever accept losing.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire