At the eve of Kobe Bryan’t’s induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, several stories from former teammates, coaches, and even a few from some of his rivals have been making their rounds all over the internet. One particular narrative that piqued our interest comes from former Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyronn Lue, who incidentally, now serves as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lue fondly looked back at the time Kobe clapped back at Phil Jackson after the Lakers head coach criticized Bryant for a poor performance against one of LA’s biggest rivals in the Sacramento Kings. According to Lue, Jackson called out Bryant for messing around with Doug Christie of the Kings, who at that time, was one of the best defenders in the league. Apparently, Kobe took Jackson’s scolding personally and decided to fire back the best way he knew how — through his game:
“Next game we played, he had 42 points and 17 rebounds,” Lue remembered, via Vincent Carhietta of SI.com. “Came into the locker room and said, ‘there you go, Phil.’”
That’s classic Kobe Bryant savagery right there. Not only did the Black Mamba let his game do the talking, but he also made sure to run his mouth a bit after his epic bounce-back performance. I’m pretty sure Phil Jackson didn’t mind the clap back, especially considering how Kobe got the job done on the court. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was all a ploy from the Zen Master knowing full well how Bryant would react after calling him out.
Oh, the good old days.