Kobe Bryant, Donald Trump and a league bully: the crazy fight that went wrong

Kobe Bryant

Today unanimously celebrated or almost, Kobe Bryant was sometimes less appreciated during his career. So much so that a colossus of the league knocked him out, under the eyes of a Donald Trump who got involved. Kamoulox!


Sickly and obsessive competitor, Kobe Bryant had, it is true, a good dose of arrogance in him during his NBA career. If the Mamba ended up building a resume sufficiently ronflant to justify this behavior, a certain Jayson Williams, bully of the Nets in the 1990s and involved in several cases of justice since then, did not like at all the behavior of the young prodigy in 1998.

It was during the All-Star Weekend that Kobe, then 20 years old, took a proper beating from Williams. The lunar sequence is told by Jeff Pearlman in his book Three Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty :

The All-Star Game was at Madison Square Garden, and the scene took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Kobe walked into an elevator where Jayson Williams, Charles Oakley and Donald Trump, who owned the place at the time, were standing. Williams asked Kobe how he was doing, to which Kobe replied in a monotone manner, without looking up, « It’s going big. »

Williams was pissed, because he was an old school guy. So was Oakley, for that matter. These guys believed in a code of respect, especially for their elders. Without missing a beat, Williams launched himself at Kobe and hit him right in the elevator. Donald Trump immediately stepped into the middle of the two men to stop them from fighting. Trump then turned to Bryant and said, « You need to leave. Quickly.

A good lesson for the Black Mamba, who clearly did not behave as expected with veteran and respected players that day. Williams still hasn’t digested the episode, and sums things up in a few murderous words:

Kobe was arrogant to everyone. Everyone. Michael Jordan was arrogant, but always with a smile. Kobe was just an asshole. I didn’t appreciate that at all.


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