3x NBA Champion Dwyane Wade made many friends over his 16-year career. Among them was Kobe Bean Bryant, who also happened to be his competitor.
While the two never teamed up or joined forces, their many battles on the court resulted in some great moments, and Wade was kind of enough to share one such moment during a recent interview with The Washington Post.
In the chat, Wade recalled the time he literally broke Kobe’s nose during the 2012 NBA All-Star game.
It happened in the third quarter, and the guy did apparently apologize to Kobe once it was all over.
(via The Washington Post)
When I play basketball, I’m a different person on the floor — just like most of the guys who play, especially the ones who are great. They tap into something else. Off the court, I think I’m a very nice man, a nice person. On the court, I have a mean streak.
Kobe and I were having a little All-Star Game battle. I was in the post and he was hitting me a little way, grabbing me and fouling me. I didn’t think that was necessary. When we got on the other end, I was trying to foul him hard just like I felt he was doing to me. The refs weren’t calling it. I wanted the refs to see it.
Of course you don’t go out there to break someone’s nose. I ended up hitting him in the wrong spot and broke his nose. I felt so bad. We were going to L.A. a couple days after that. I called him and was like: “I’m a competitor and I don’t back down from no one, but I didn’t mean to break your nose. I apologize.”
As Kobe Bryant would do, he was like: “I love it. Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you in a couple days.” The conversation was very short.
Nowadays, a guy getting fouled like that would result in someone being on the floor. In fact, for most people from any time, getting your nose broken would be a pretty tough experience.
Bryant, somehow, just shrugged it off and instead of trying to get revenge against Wade on the streets, he just let his game do all the talking.
He was a true competitor at heart, and clearly had respect for those who could match him in that regard.