The Chicago Bulls’ perimeter players were nothing short of great last night against the Lakers. Not only did they rack up points against L.A.’s porous defense, but they also defended the hell out of the Lakers on the other end of the floor.
One Bull in particular had the defensive night of his life. Jimmy Butler locked down on Kobe Bryant, arguably playing him better than anyone else in the NBA has this year, badgering Bryant into 7-22 shooting from the field). The kid was was so locked in last night, on the offensive end he was putting MJ turnarounds in Kobe’s face (you can see it after the jump).
After the game, Butler’s teammates were apparently calling him “The Kobe Stopper” in the locker room. Kobe, for his part, had nothing but praise for Butler as well when talking to the media after the game:
I have nothing but praise for the way he competed. Nothing but praise.I was proud of how he played. Defensively, he stuck to his principles and did a sound job and I have nothing but praise for him.”
That’s all well and good, but do you remember the last guy to wear the “Kobe Stopper” moniker? Yep, Ruben Patterson (who, unlike the humble Butler, gave himself the nickname). Rube took an average of almost 30 points a game from Kobe during their matchups, including multiple 40-spots.
Kobe’s shooting was just one of many terrible aspects of the Lakers’ performance last night, but you can be sure that Kobe heard what Butler’s teammates were calling him. And with the inevitable hype and interview questions about Butler being the new Kobe Stopper leading up to their next matchup, you can be sure Bryant will be looking to teach him a lesson.
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