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The transformation of Kobe Bryant

Updated: February 6, 2007, 5:45 PM ET
By Jackie MacMullan | Special to ESPN.com

BOSTON -- Kobe Bryant shifted the ball precisely to where he desired it to be -- in his hands, on the way to the hoop, in complete control of a two-on-one fast-break opportunity against the San Antonio Spurs.

The easiest path to the basket was obvious. All he had to do was keep the ball, be Kobe, inflict the kind of physical and emotional damage that only the truly gifted can wield, then effortlessly glide back down the floor on defense.

"I thought about it,'' Bryant confessed. ...

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