When Stephen Jackson Sneered at a Reporter Who Questioned If Kobe Bryant Could Handle Big 3 Physicality

Published 09/20/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 16, 2012: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during Lakers vs Mavericks at the Staples Center. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


During a post-game press conference following their 51-44 BIG3 win over 3’s Company in 2018, Stephen Jackson and teammate Alan Anderson received a question about Kobe Bryant – “Do you think Kobe Bryant could handle this league with it being more physical inside?

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The reaction by both the players was one of disbelief, and a video posted on YouTube captured the ensuing reaction.

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 Stephen Jackson and Alan Anderson’s reactions

After realizing what was being asked, both players’ faces transformed into disbelief. While Anderson threw out a “for sure,” in response, Jackson stood up to assert his views in a funny exchange.

That question was rhetorical, okay? I can’t spell rhetorical, but I know what it means. That question was rhetorical,” Jackson said.

(Denver, Colorado – Friday, May 29, 2009) Lakers guard Kobe Bryant yells out in frustration after just missing a circus shot against the Nuggets defense late in the first half in game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Although Jackson said he meant no disrespect to the reporter, he offered to slap the reporter on Kobe’s behalf. After a brief pause, Jackson offered Bryant another invitation to join the Big3, noting that Bryant would be as “dominant” as he was in the NBA.

Kobe can play in — any league! Any league,” Jackson said before addressing the Lakers legend directly.

Beckoning Kobe to join Big3, he said, “Please come to the league. We need you.

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Having clarified the reporter’s question, Jackson delivered a firm answer and was perseverant in his drive to persuade Bryant to consider BIG3.

This is one of the best scorers of all time,” Jackson said. “You think he wasn’t getting knocked down in the league? Yes, please come Kobe and yes, Kobe would be dominant just as he was in the league in this. I truly believe it.

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Big3 and Kobe Bryant

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Big3 limits each team to three players on the court at a time. It was founded by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwaintinetz in 2017. According to reports, Ice Cube had been urging Bryant to give BIG3 a chance. Kobe, even at 39 years old, would have been the greatest player to ever play on a BIG3 court. Over the course of his 20-year career, he won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. After Bryant retired from basketball in 2016, the team retired his two numbers, 8 and 24.

Stephen Jackson played for nine different NBA franchises between 2000 and 2014, before retiring in 2015. During his time with the San Antonio Spurs, he was the NBA Finals winner in 2003. Currently, he hosts a podcast called ‘All The Smoke’ along with NBA veteran Matt Barnes.

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Shalom Saldanha

44 articles

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