Coincidentally, any mention these days of the beat-up Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant seems to reference a scattered series of images from my formative years.
And for his ankle woes, c'mon everybody, let's do the twist.
Bryant missed four of the last five games of the regular season, and when he did play, shot the basketball with all the dexterity of Pete Townsend smashing a guitar.
It was enough to send murmurs through Lakers Land as the postseason opened about Bryant's ability to deliver the Kobe goods in the clutch, when they need him the most, when he brings what is generally regarded as the best end-of-game offense in the NBA.
Well, obviously, Bryant still hasn't found his better shooting touch. But the closer's touch?
Apparently still there. Enough of it in Game 2, anyway, against Oklahoma City to secure another narrow win and hold the Lakers' home-court advantage as they head off to enemy territory for two games, tonight and Saturday.
Bryant tends to isolate himself in a kind of postseason shrinkwrap every year, often limiting his contact with the media to short, blank-faced responses. His way of game facing for the playoffs.
Under the less favorable health circumstances heading into this postseason, he seemed to withdraw even more, telling reporters all of his ills, aches and pains were "fine," while making himself even more scarce than usual.
Not surprisingly then, that after Wednesday's practice, before the Lakers boarded their plane for Oklahoma City, Bryant opted out of the media scrum.
Not that his words mean much at all at this point. People saw what they needed to see Tuesday night at Staples Center. He ignored his latest bout with scattershot-itis in the first half (6 of 16) of the Lakers' ultra-tight game with the Thunder, and scored the points they needed down the stretch.
He had 15 in the last 12 minutes, including seven from the foul line. He scored six in a row after the Lakers fell behind 88-86, and seven of their final nine points in the 95-92 win.
"In the fourth quarter, I don't know his career stats, but he's got to be one of the best ever," said teammate Ron Artest of Bryant on Wednesday.
"It's pretty self-explanatory. There comes a time you know he's going to take over the game. You get that feeling, you know?"
For a dozen years or so, we know.
The fact that Bryant totaled 39 points Tuesday was less a testament to his overall shooting (12 of 28) and more about his defiant will. Like most scorers, Bryant treats each missed shot as a sign that a make must be coming soon. When it's his time, it's his time, even if he's 0 for 20 to that point.
Bryant still scores, of course, when he shoots crooked, because he takes the ball to the basket, gets contact and draws fouls. He made 13 of 15 free throws Tuesday.
This might be a good time for Thunder coach Scott Brooks to emulate the master, Phil Jackson, and complain that the refs are treating Kobe Bryant like he's Kobe Bryant.
Instead, Brooks tipped his hat to Bryant's making "some big shots down the stretch" and simply noted that his own young team is "still trying to figure out how to win close games."
That would probably be when his star, Kevin Durant, saves his best for last, too.
In any case, quelling the doubts for now, Bryant showed off his clutch game again Tuesday. These days, that would be blood, sweat and Oklahoma City tears.