Former Lakers teammate Caron Butler narrates behind-the-scenes of Kobe Bryant’s iconic game-winning shot against the Bobcats in 2005.
Though not spoken of really often, Kobe Bryant had one of the highest basketball IQs in NBA history. The Lakers superstar’s ability to foresee situations and predict opposition moves was surreal. A true student of the game, Kobe was always hungry to increase the depth of his knowledge pool.
The Hall of Famer never shied away from taking the reigns of his team during tense situations, looking forward to taking control during the clutch time. The five-time champion had mastered shooting free throws in the crunch.
One of the pioneers of the mid-range game, Kobe was unguardable. The Lakers superstar had the second most game-winning buzzer-beaters with eight behind Michael Jordan’s nine. Though not a buzzer-beater, one of his most iconic game-winning shots came against the Bobcats in 2005.
Former teammate Caron Butler, who was present during the moment, recently revealed the atmosphere within the team.
Kobe Bryant had no doubts about making the iconic game-winner against the Bobcats.
Despite playing a mere one season with Kobe, Caron Butler had a lot of stories to tell about the Lakers MVP, one of them being the game-winning shot in Charlotte.
“It’s so crazy, the night before the game, we’re smoking cigars outside in Charlotte and Kobe was just talking about history, and we fast forward to the game, we’re down and in the huddle, and coach is drawing up a play, and Kobe like literally stopped the whole play drawing up, got right between.”
Butler revealed how Kobe invited them to be a part of history saying,
“Whoever want to be a part of history, take the ball out and throw it in to me,” said Kobe.
Butler added how Kobe would wink at him post sinking the shot, telling him, “Game”.
The Mamba scored 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a long jumper with 0.9 seconds remaining to end the regulation. The Lakers would get the W on the road.
The two-time Finals MVP’s confidence stemmed from having practiced every shot multiple times during his training. Kobe truly defined the term clutch gene.