During his legendary career with the LA Lakers, Kobe Bryant established himself as one of the most ruthless competitors in NBA history. The Black Mamba was always out for blood when he stepped on the court and did whatever it took to lead the Lakers to victory.
Due to his vicious personality, Bryant wasn’t always the easiest teammate to get along with. That’s why he almost got into a fight with a former NBA big man over $100.
Kobe Bryant won five titles with the Lakers
Not only did Kobe Bryant spend his entire NBA career with the Lakers, but he won five championships and two Finals MVPs. The 18-time All-Star averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 1,346 games with the Lakers while shooting 44.7% from the field, 32.9% from beyond the arc, and 83.7% from the free-throw line.
Some of the best players in NBA history have played for the Lakers. Bryant is universally recognized as the greatest player in LA franchise history and the second-best shooting guard ever. Michael Jordan, who won six titles and six Finals MVPs with the Chicago Bulls, is the only player fans and pundits put ahead of Bryant.
Kobe is first in Lakers history in games, minutes, field goals, 3-pointers, free-throws, steals, points, and win-shares. The Purple and Gold retired both of his jerseys and will probably build a Bryant statue one day.
Despite winning three titles together, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal didn’t always see eye-to-eye. However, O’Neal isn’t the Lakers teammate Bryant almost fought over $100.
Samaki Walker wanted to fight Kobe Bryant after the Lakers icon slapped him
The Lakers were having a shootaround contest one day, and Kobe Bryant won. The Hall of Famer went up to Samaki Walker on the team bus to collect his $100, but the center said he would give it to Bryant later.
On the bus, Bryant slapped Walker across the face for not having his money. The 6-foot-9 big man responded by yelling at Lakers head coach Phil Jackson to stop the bus so he could fight Bryant for slapping him.
The 2007-08 MVP, though, declined to get off the bus. Walker was in a sour mood since Bryant disrespected him by slapping him in front of the team, but Kobe didn’t care.
It wasn’t until later in the day that Kobe Bryant realized what he did was wrong.
The Lakers legend left a heartfelt message for Samaki Walker
Kobe Bryant left a voicemail on Samaki Walker’s phone a few hours after slapping him. The Lakers legend was crying in the voicemail and said he went too far by slapping Walker over $100.
Stories such as this will keep Bryant’s spirit and legacy alive despite the Lakers great no longer being with us. It’s safe to say there will never be another Bryant in LA or the NBA.
Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020. However, because of COVID-19, the ceremony was postponed. Whenever the induction ceremony takes place, it is widely believed that Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, and Vanessa Bryant will play a large role on Kobe’s behalf.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.