The ball went to Kobe Bryant, who was guarded by former Laker Robert Horry at the top of the key. Hamblen wanted Bryant to drive to the basket but Bryant pump-faked Horry, then missed an 18-footer off the back rim as time expired.
"When you put the ball in a great player's hands," Hamblen said, "it's his decision to make."
All Bryant could say afterward was: "Ten times I'll take that shot. I'll make nine of them."
"Ten times I'll take that shot. I'll make nine of them." Did Kobe actually say this? Kobe hasn't hit 90% at the free throw line, much less 90% field goals. Is someone close to Kobe talking to him? Does he have anybody in his circle that can sit him down and pull his reins?
And to add insult to injury, Hamblen went through the trouble of setting up a mismatch for Kobe with Horry, yet Kobe still settled for the jumper. He always settles for the jumper... never takes to the hole unless he is away from the ball and is cutting to the basket waiting for a pass.