Former NBA star Matt Barnes has stepped in to put the Kobe Bryant no-flinch matter to bed - or at least he's tried.
The erstwhile small forward won his first and only NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors last year but played on several teams before calling it quits in December. But he is still somewhat involved in the sport where alternative medicines are concerned.
As you would know by now, the famous Mamba moment during which Barnes pump-faked a ball in Kobe's face to end up with zero reaction from the Lakers legend in 2010 resurfaced this week, this time with a new angle showing that the two players weren't even in line.
What was long considered one of the most iconic non-basketball moments in the history of the game was debunked by an overhead angle, ruining the whole thing for Kobe fans.
Barnes, though, has told TMZ Sports that the initial version is the real version and that the ball did move towards Bryant's face.
“As far as I know, that s**t went in his face and he didn’t flinch,” he said. “I thought that was a dead story.”
Coming from the horse's mouth, that should be that. However, it's not so easily bought given that the footage showed that Barnes wasn't even looking in Kobe's direction and was focused on an off-ball screen between Dwight Howard and Vince Carter.
Kobe has also weighed in on the debate, claiming he isn't bothered by the talk going on over the internet. But that's exactly the thing we expect him to say.
On Tuesday, journalist Chris Martin Palmer tweeted: "Just talked to Kobe a couple minutes ago about this. He hadn't heard about it yet. He wasn't worried. At all. "You gotta remember I was swaying. He did it and I didn't balk."
Just talked to Kobe a couple minutes ago about this. He hadn't heard about it yet. He wasn't worried. At all. "You gotta remember I was swaying. He did it and I didn't balk." https://t.co/8nR2wHNIX4— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) October 2, 2018
So, who do you believe? The internet or the parties who were actually involved?
It's something you'll have to decide for yourself, but the evidence against Barnes and Bryant looks pretty damning.
In any case, though, this really doesn't matter. Kobe is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen and his mentality still wouldn't have been questioned even if he had ducked or rolled over when Barnes pump-faked that ball.