As Kobe Bryant’s NBA career seems to be coming to an end in the foreseeable future, his place among the all time greats continues to be discussed and argued. He has spent his entire time playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and has been a teammate to a number of players.
While he retains a somewhat cordial relationship with some of his past teammates, the one between Bryant and Karl Malone has been on the rocks since the two played together. Malone spoke about it Wednesday during an interview with HuffPost Live and hinted he would be ready to fight should Bryant want to settle their alleged dispute:
“It’s a standing offer,” Malone said. “Look, I don’t want no trouble. I don’t have a problem. People say whatever they want to say and that’s great. I’m 6-9, 272 [pounds] to be exact. I’m not hard to find. I don’t want no trouble. But if something got to go down, I’m not playing fair.”
Malone joined the Lakers for the 2003-04 season after spending 18 years with the Utah Jazz. The team that season had high hopes after signing Malone and Gary Payton during the offseason. Despite having a talented roster, the team couldn’t develop the proper chemistry required to win the championship that season.
During his time with the Lakers, it was believed Malone got along fine with Bryant. Malone left the team following the season’s end in what was the start of their relationship’s demise. In December 2004, Bryant claimed Malone made inappropriate comments concerning his wife, Vanessa.
While Malone may have restarted their supposed feud with his comments Wednesday, Bryant probably is no rush to deal with Malone. After another season-ending injury, he will focused on recovering from surgery and possibly getting the better of Malone on the court.
Malone is second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list while Bryant is now third after passing Michael Jordan earlier this year. Bryant needs another 4,447 points to move past Malone.[divide]
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