Tyronn Lue Recalls the Time Kobe Bryant Tried to Fight Him
The Kobe Bryant retirement tour pulls into Cleveland on Wednesday. It won’t be the last time the Black Mamba plays LeBron, as the Cavs will visit L.A. on March 10. But it will be the first time Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue coaches against his former teammate.
Lue, 38, played with the Lakers from 1998-2001, winning two championships. When asked about his favorite Kobe memory on Tuesday after the Cavaliers’ practice, he was more than happy to wax nostalgic about the time Kobe tried to fight him after a scrimmage:
“We’re playing 5-on-5 one day and it was the gold team against the white team. It was myself, Devean George, Brian Shaw, Mark Madsen and I want to say Slava Medvedenko, playing against the first unit—against [Derek] Fish[er], Kob’, Shaq.
“Long story short is, it was a game point and [Kobe] drove baseline and I was at the elbow. And he drove baseline and I went down the lane and I pinned his dunk against the glass. He tried to dunk it and I blocked it against the glass. We came down, Devean George made a layup for game and Brian Shaw went, ‘Ahhh, he blocked you!’ He went crazy. Kobe wanted to fight me at first and then, second, he wanted to play one-on-one after practice.
“‘We going to play one-on-one, me and you.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not playing you one-on-one.’ He was so mad and then, after that, it was just, every day we stepped onto the court, he just went after me every single day. It was crazy. And then, like other stories, just playing one-on-one every day, every time we acquired a new guy, he would play those guys one-on-one after every practice just to show them, like, ‘I’m the man, I’m the man.’ Did the same thing with Glen Rice. Just his competitive nature, man, it was just unbelievable.”
Kobe couldn’t handle being shown up by a teammate? Yep, that sounds about right.
Of course, that stuff is ancient history. I’m sure there will be nothing but hugs and smiles before Wednesday’s game.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]