“Spoilt Little Brats”: Kobe Bryant Once Destroyed the NBA in Epic Rant

Published 08/23/2021, 11:33 AM EDT
SAN ANTONIO – MAY 7: (FILE PHOTO) Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey in Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at SBC Center on May 7, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Bryant was released on bail by the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado July 6, 2003 after posting a $25,000 bond on a felony count of sexual assault. (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant, aka the Black Mamba is one of the NBA’s finest ever. Driven by love for the game, Bryant dedicated his whole life to the game of basketball, aspiring to one day ascend the heights of GOAT Mountain. In a journey that spanned over 20 seasons with the Purple and Gold, Kobe’s loyalty to the Lakers franchise is unheard of in the current era.

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It was all too simple for Kobe; he just wanted to play basketball! Anything or anyone that came outside the court lines and in the way of winning championships didn’t matter. While he was never outspoken about anything that didn’t fit in his purview of winning, Bryant had no problems while calling out his contemporaries and the league during the NBA lockout in 1998-99.

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With league owners gunning for cost control and lower incentive brackets, contracts and rather non-lucrative deals, the players were clear. They were searching for their next big payday.

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Kobe Bryant didn’t shy away from calling the league out

In an interview that post the lockout, which lasted a grand total of 204 days and cost the league over $1 billion in lost revenue, Bryant was vocal in his displeasure over the events that transpired.

Speaking in what probably was their first game back, Kobe said, “I’m ready, we’ve been waiting for a long time, so I think about now everybody’s pretty much ready to get everything started.”

Calling out the league, Bryant said, “Well, I think the fans can look at the NBA as being a bunch of spoilt little brats -overpaid in the first case. And in some cases they’re right, in other cases, it’s a business.”

Kobe Bryant proceeded to comment on the lockout which stemmed from the owners voting to reinstate the 1995 collective bargaining agreement. He said, “And of course people have probably heard this before but we always wanted to play basketball but it was the owners who locked us out in the 1st place.”

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The final nail

Giving his verdict, Bryant said, “So I think you have to look at both sides of the fence. There’s some players out there in the NBA who are playing for money. Of course, I’m not gonna lie and say everybody plays for the love of the game.”

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) acknowledges fans following the second half of game two of their opening round NBA Playoffs series at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, the ugly turn of events took an adverse impact on the league, as in the end, fans and players took the biggest blow from the fallout.

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Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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