Former New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert recently appeared on Peter Rosenberg’s Hot 97 show to talk a variety of topics. The most interesting one, without question, was Kobe Bryant.
Shumpert told the story of one of his meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers legend that really left a strong impression on him. The way he told it and the substance of the tale really had an effect on listeners.
For obvious reasons, the story immediately went viral afterward.
“I guarded Kobe in the Garden,” Shumpert began.
“I can’t remember how much he had, but I know I had multiple steals against him, to where in the game, in my head, all I’m thinking of is when I’m having this conversation with my brother after the game, how I’m going to tell him how I stole a ball from Kobe.
“How I stripped Kobe before he was going to take a shot, how I drove by Kobe and got a dunk. Like I’m thinking about all these things in my head, I’m so geeked,” Shumpert continued.
“The fourth quarter starts, and Kobe said ‘you had a great game.’ He said ‘you had a great game young fella.’ I swear I looked at the clock like…. I’m looking like ‘there’s 12 minutes [left], what are you talking about?’
“What was that, you know what I’m saying? You ain’t said nothing the whole game. I’ve been talking [expletive], I done stole the ball, I’m hyped as hell, it’s Kobe Bryant. He ain’t said not one word to me. ‘Great game young fella.’”
— Kosso Down 95 (@MocoKosso) March 13, 2020
That is when things took a turn for Shumpert.
“The man come down, you remember, he came shot fake, shot fake, threw it off the glass, caught it, threw it to the corner. I’m like ‘bro, what you on? Like, bro, you been regular all game!’”
The highlights from that fourth quarter speak for themselves:
— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) March 13, 2020
Shumpert’s story was fantastic, but it really should not come as a shock to anyone.
Bryant lit the Knicks up on a regular basis. His total record against them was 10-6 at Madison Square Garden and he averaged 29.9 points per game – a full five points higher than his career average. Moreover, his offensive rating against New York was higher than his rating against any other squad.
Shumpert’s story will go down as just as the latest great anecdote about one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Should LeBron be suspended? The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/6VN3jINFwA
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 19, 2020