This Is Why You Better Give Kobe Bryant His Money

Kobe Bryant, Samaki Walker

This Is Why You Better Give Kobe Bryant His Money

Ex-Lakers player recalls the Black Mamba attacking him over $100 bet.

Published January 27, 2016

If you make a bet with Kobe Bryant — and lose — it's probably in your best interests to pay the man promptly.

Well, at least that could be said for a younger Bryant.

Speaking to the Brown and Scoop show on the podcast network, former Los Angeles Lakers forward Samaki Walker recalled a time back in 2002 when the Black Mamba confronted him about a $100 debt and the incident ended with Bryant sucker-punching him.

"We got into it. I'm still figuring it out to this day. It was probably one of the craziest, most immature situations because the situation, from what I understand, was over 100 bucks," Walker began explaining on the show. "After practice, we usually get together as a team, and we play the half-court shot game. What everybody will do is put $100 in the pot, shoot a half-court shot, and whoever makes it first, considering everybody else gets their turn, gets the pot."

He added: "[Bryant] won the half-court contest and the rule is you get 48 hours to pay the $100. There wasn't even 48 hours. Kobe comes to me on the bus and asked me where his 100 bucks are. Believe it or not, out of all the people, he chose me, which is still, to this day, puzzling."

That's when Walker, who played in the NBA from 1996 through 2006, including being on the Lakers' 2002 championship squad, tried to reason with Bryant.

"I told him — listen, we were going to shoot around at the time — 'Man, I don't have no 100 bucks on me right now,'" Walker continued. "I put my earphones back on, and once I put my earphones back on, the most amazing thing happened. Kobe, he sucker-punched me. It was a sucker punch. Right to the face. Out of nowhere."

The incident was quickly broken up by teammates before it could escalate any further. Walker added that Bryant, who was 23 years old at the time, later apologized.

Nearly 15 years later, Walker isn't upset about his run-in with Bryant, either.

"I appreciate a guy who has the mentality of a Kobe Bryant," Walker said. "I learned a lot watching him, and for that, I'm thankful."

Who knew that playing with a young Kobe's money was like playing with his emotions?

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(Photos from left: Jeff Gross /Getty Images, Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla


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