The pump fakes began in earnest when Kobe Bryant got stuck with the ball against Denver this month.
He had nowhere to go in the lane so he relied on an old trick to get himself out of a jam — and possibly a defender in the air.
He pump-faked once. He pump-faked again. He might have done it a third time but briefly lost control of the ball.
Nuggets forward Will Barton didn't budge, staying on his feet while guarding Bryant, forcing an off-balance 10-footer that ricocheted hard off the back of the rim.
The book is out on Bryant's declining skills, and somewhere high on the first page is an over-reliance on pump-faking.
Michael Jordan goes to the basket in the third quarter as Utah Jazz's Howard Eisley looks on during Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Salt Lake City, in this June 5, 1998 photo. Dominance, determination and unmatched skill earned Jordan the selection as the top basketball player of the century by a six-member...