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Gerald Wallace tried to get Kobe to shoot a free throw with his eyes closed

Nov 21, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams AP

Gerald Wallace is becoming my hero. And he had the right idea — if you’re going to get to Kobe Bryant, you appeal to his ego.

Wallace is a talker and the Nets forward was jawing at Kobe near the end of the Lakers win over the Nets Tuesday night. Twice in the final 17 seconds of the game Kobe was at the free throw line and the Nets needed a miss or two to make things easier. Wallace was talking — and he went after Kobe’s ego and competitiveness.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“I was trying to get him to close his eyes to shoot.”

Now remember, Michael Jordan is famous for hitting a free throw with his eyes closed, and we all know how much Bryant wants to be like Mike. So maybe there was a chance Bryant would play along.

Turns out he would’ve – for a steep price.

“I had to make a big bet,” Wallace said. “So I told him just shoot the free throws.”

Our own D.J. Foster thought Kobe mouthed “500” which could have meant $500,000. Classic Kobe. Just make it too rich for anyone else’s blood because outside Kevin Garnett and LeBron James, who has Kobe money to throw around?

But I come out of this loving Gerald Wallace even more. He is my hero now.

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