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Kobe Bryant did to Stephen A. Smith what Skip Bayless, Max Kellerman or Chris “Mad Dog” Russo never could. He scared the living shit out of him.
Smith admitted as much during a Wednesday interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show.
And let’s be real, the only one scared shitless during that interview was the doorframe that had to fit both egos inside one studio.
“Kobe, God rest his soul. Now he scared me. Kobe scared the living shit out of me,” admitted Smith when asked if he ever received calls from athletes he was critical of on-air. “Kobe was a savant. You did not know more basketball than Kobe Bryant. So when Kobe Bryant called you to complain (you listened).”
Stephen A. Smith Admitted That Kobe Bryant Had Him Shook
Smith then told Stern about a particular instance when the Black Mamba left an unforgettable message on his phone.
“Voicemail. ‘You know who this is mother*cker. Get your ass up, pick up the f*cking phone and call me back. That bullshit you just said. And don’t keep me waiting. Your ass better not go on the air and say some other shit before you talk to me,’” Smith said, relaying Bryant’s straight-to-the-point message.
Max Kellerman wouldn’t dare!
From there, Stephen A. Smith went on to explain to Stern that he would point out to Kobe that his critiques weren’t personal, but he didn’t like the way he was playing. He then added that he told Bryant (at least on this occasion) that he was playing selfish basketball.
Shockingly, Kobe didn’t see it that way. He pointed out that his teammates were dropping passes or missing shots and even threw the coach under the bus.
To which Smith fired back that “that don’t absolve the shit you did.”
Whether he agreed with Smith or not, Kobe and the ESPN personality would eventually (sort-of) laugh about their differences in opinion.
Presumably this occurred after Stephen A. Smith had changed his underwear upon being scared straight by Bryant.
“’I have no idea why I love your ass, I really don’t,’” Smith remembered Bryant telling him. “’You go on the air and you say that shit again, I’m calling you to curse your ass out.’ “And then he’ll say, ‘Love you.'”
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF