Kobe Bryant goes for the rare second self-given nickname

BY PAT FLYNN

I was pretty certain Kobe Bryant was getting younger. I couldn’t be positive until yesterday when two things happened: 1) Steve Blake confirmed it for me.

2) This happened.

That was Kobe throwing down a beautifully violent one-hander after blowing past some team’s future mistake/amnesty clause waiting to happen max player. Kobe went right over Mr. Ill-Advised Three himself on the next trip down as well for a layup.

As far as individual highlights and stats are concerned, this season has been one long infomercial for Regenokine, the blood spinning treatment Kobe underwent in the U.S. Postal Service team bus Germany to rectify his 34 year-old arthritis-ridden right knee.

But as Kobe’s game is flashing back in time and getting more explosive than it has been in years, he’s acting a little differently in other ways, too. He’s tweeting and apparently considering getting on Instagram soon.

But he’s reaching deep down into his bag of tricks for something few people who aren’t pro wrestlers can pull-off.

Kobe, who has successfully given himself one nickname, albeit a great one, in the Black Mamba, is now going for a second…

This was the first tweet about the new nickname. See, even Kobe knows you can’t just keep giving yourself nicknames. He had to make it appear it was given. So even if someone said it to him privately, which is totally plausible, he took it to his 1.5 million twitter followers and has been hash tagging his tweets #Vino as of late.

The name makes sense. Like a fine wine, he has gotten better with age.

But who can pull this off without looking like an enormous asshole? Kobe can. Kobe is.

A week or two ago, I listened to Dan Le Batard’s radio show just rip apart Dwyane Wade for trying to give himself an absolutely awful nickname. But they ripped him more for having the audacity to give himself a nickname, not for the nickname being bad. Over the summer as Wade was promoting a book about being a father, he was throwing up #WOW on Twitter, an acronym for Way Of Wade. It was a promotional ploy.

But then he tried to get people to call him WOW. C’mon man… He was ripped on the airwaves and the Twitterverse for this bad attempt.

Meanwhile, here’s Kobe looking to give himself a second nickname. And I can’t lie. It makes sense and it rolls off the tongue. But with Nike pushing Black Mamba everything, I think the whole #Vino thing eventually dies down or doesn’t get any farther than being a twitter hash tag.

But props to Kobe. Only he could pull this off.

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