According to Wikipedia, the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is considered the world’s deadliest snake. The black mamba is the longest venomous snake in Africa, averaging around 2.5 metres (8.2 ft), and sometimes growing up to 4.3 metres (14 ft). It is one of the most feared snakes in Africa due to its potent venom, large size, and the ferocity of its attacks. It is one of the fastest snakes in the world, capable of moving at 4.5 to 5.4 metres per second (10–12 mph).
This nickname appropriately is given to one of the most venomous players in the league for a lot of years, Kobe Bryant. Like him or not, you must respect what Kobe does on the court. Call him what you want, but you have to appreciate what the man brings to the game of basketball. When the situation gets thick, he steps up. When the Lakers need a bucket, he turns into the mailman and delivers. When the Lakers need inspiration he takes over the huddle. When the Lakers need him to dominate a playoff game he goes for 40 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Everyone is ready to pass the torch to the King, and rightfully so. The King is worthy of the title. However, it is fair to say one is a big-game player, while the other is an assassin. There is a difference between the two.
Lebron is Peyton Manning and Kobe is Tom Brady. Lebron gets it done all season and looks spectacular doing it, but then the playoffs start, and he starts to fade. The playoffs seems to inspire Kobe as he goes into a zone and looks like he has a proverbial influence on his team. His influence affects everyone, including bench players that no one remembers, and they begin to look much better than they are, because of the Mamba's influence, alla Deion Branch of the Patriots.
Take it for what it is, but Kobe is what we hope LeBron will become. I am not taking anything away from the King; he is the most talented player in the league, but I am just calling it like I see it. Everyone keeps asking who is going to be the next, when the real question is DOES THE MAMBA HAVE another one in him?
If the Mamba is on the demise, as projected, then the King better get the bite of a Cobra and take command. He might want to pick it up and stop being charmed by the snake charmers out there, because a rattlesnake is lurking in Oklahoma City and it appears to be pretty hungry.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out
Color Commentator for Time Warner Cable Sports Network NC/SC/OH and NCCU Sports Network. Washed up athlete who used to ball, now I write and call.