After uncharacteristically fumbling the ball out of bounds to lose last night’s game, Kobe Bryant could do nothing but stare at his mangled mitts, trying to figure out what went wrong. And while a good craftsman never blames his tools, clearly there had to be something wrong. After all, Kobe Bryant’s not the kind of guy to just let a ball slip through his hands in the final seconds of a one-point game.

Turns out, there a plausible explanation for the turnover. Several, in fact.

Oil slick on hands, a la “Spy Hunter.” Very hard to grasp a ball whilst covered in oil.

Decided to learn how to play the flute, for some reason.

Was prepped for surgery, so he couldn’t touch anything. Why waste a good scrub down?

Kobe is a cultured gentleman. When a priceless vase is thrown his way, he will do anything to preserve it.

Accidentally learned magic at just the wrong time.

Celebratory party sub he ordered arrived five minutes too early. Didn’t want to wait because then the lettuce would be soggy.

As you can see, there are a lot of possible reasons why Kobe Bryant lost that ball last night. Give him a break.