Carmelo Anthony has faced off against some of the best and toughest players in NBA history. Because of that, he is in a unique position where he can comment on them from a place of knowledge and legitimate experience.
One player he had some fun battles against? Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
This past week Anthony appeared on an episode of Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke podcast.
During it, he went into great detail about some of Bryant’s more ‘disrespectful’ antics.
“The greatest, man,” he remarked about his 2009 Western Conference Finals showdown with Bryant.
“That was my moment where me and Kob became – before that we went to the Olympics. We became very close. But we became close on some disrespectful s—. You know Kob, he going into your neck. He elbowing you. I had my braids back then, too, so he touching my head. I’m like, ‘Don’t touch my head. Don’t touch me no more, dawg.’ He’s smirking. He’s throwing his little s— elbows, and ’09 came, and it was like, I remember we hugged before the game, and he was like, ‘It’s war.’ I said, ‘It’s war. Let’s get it. It ain’t gonna be nothing easy.’”
The fourth quarters of those outings, in particular, stick out in Anthony’s mind.
“And I just remember him telling me, ‘I’ll guard you in the fourth. They ain’t gonna make no calls on me. They ain’t gonna call no s— on me in the fourth,’” Anthony added.
“And I used to try to beat him up though. I was bigger than him, so I used to try to beat him up, be physical with him. He come back, elbow me. I come back, elbow him. He laughing, talking, ‘That’s all you got?’”
Ever since Bryant passed away last year, fans have been blessed with countless tales of his basketball escapades. Between funny stories about him in the Olympics to revelations about who was the toughest player for him to guard to Pau Gasol divulging the two sides of his personality – fans have learned a lot about Bryant in recent months.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 22, 2021
There’s a reason why fans reacted so violently when a guy, in LA no less, tried to publicly insult the Lakers legend. Bryant is loved in a way few athletes ever have been or will be.
Hopefully in the coming years, more players take a page out of Anthony’s book and continue to offer up funny and interesting stories about the Black Mamba.