About Last Night: Mamba Time

In case you were busy trying to convince the world that the vote of confidence you gave your mistake-prone quarterback was genuine, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:

  • Kobe Bryant’s return hit its high-water mark as he scored 21 points while matched up against Tony Allen in the Lakers’ 96-92 win over the Grizzlies. “Kobe’s back!” Bryant said with a laugh as he walked backward into the locker room. And after a brief moment when Lakers guard Nick Young feared Bryant might turn around and be holding an ax, he was relieved to see that his fears were unfounded when Bryant turned around. Unfortunately for Young’s blood pressure, the Bryant who had walked into the locker room was a double, and the real Kobe was standing directly behind him flashing a terrifying ear-to-ear smile.
  • The marquee showdown between the top two teams in women’s college basketball became a rout as Breanna Stewart and the Connecticut Huskies pulled away to beat Duke, 83-61. “Did you see this Connecticut score?” Stamford resident and disgraced investment adviser Blair Whitson asked his wife, Martha, as she moved the late-fall sweaters from the walk-in back to the hall closet. “Didn’t you almost go to Duke?” God, how she wished she had. Martha allowed herself a moment to daydream as she took a deep whiff of mothballs and lambswool. Her father’s mother’s second husband had been a trustee at the school, and her admission out of the prestigious Greenwich Academy was all but guaranteed. But her budding interest in then–U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker Jr. had led to a series of events still too painful to recollect that caused her to enroll at Connecticut College instead. It was at Connecticut College, nursing the wounds of her romantic brush with power, that a vulnerable Martha Pierce had met a dashing young finance whiz named Blair Whitson.
  • Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators nudged their way past the Memphis Tigers, 77-75. “No, this doesn’t once and for all prove anything about real-life battles between Gators and Tigers,” Donovan said after the game. “And who gave Zoobooks a press credential?”
  • Chelsea could not hold off Sunderland, who came from behind to upset the Blues, 2-1, in Capital One Cup play. “The Capital One Cup? It’s not a special trophy,” explained Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after the match. “It’s the sort of trophy that another manager should be winning. For me? There is only one trophy special enough.” Mourinho then got a far-off look in his eye and whispered, “The Mourinho Trophy. And I already possess it exclusively and completely.”
  • Damian Lillard drained another game-winning shot as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 119-116. “Boring,” said Blazers superfan and Portland resident Mark Standley of Lillard’s heroics. “I mean, come on. Another buzzer-beater? Derivative.” Standley then groaned audibly and added, “I mean, sure, at Weber State, the kid was a baller. But now? Come on. Nothing is more stale than Damian Lillard.” Standley then turned around to reveal that the Blazers jersey he was wearing was a throwback 2012 Meyers Leonard.
  • San Francisco 49ers fans have raised money in order to purchase a billboard in Seattle to taunt fans of the Seahawks over their team’s historical failure to win a Super Bowl. And before you dismiss this as a strange move coming from a fan base whose team has not won a title in almost 20 years, remember that advertising is meant to do nothing more than entice the viewer. And nothing could be classier than motivating a rival and its fans by explaining in billboard form exactly how sweet it will be when their team finally does win its first title.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Chelsea, Cleveland Cavaliers, Duke, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, San Francisco 49Ers, Seattle Seahawks

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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