Kobe Bryant is one of the most competitive human beings to ever walk the planet. This is not breaking news to anyone who watched him over nearly two decades in the NBA.
But would you believe Bryant learned another language just to trash talk his opponent? Actually, yeah, that definitely sounds like something Kobe would do.
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During a recent appearance on “SportsCenter,” Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic told ESPN’s Neil Everett a story about Bryant jawing with him in Bosnian — because apparently English would have been too easy for Kobe. Nurkic, who was born in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina and is nicknamed “The Bosnian Beast,” says the interaction started because he had complained about Bryant getting favorable calls and shooting too many free throws.
Kobe couldn’t just let that slide.
“He actually says a word in my language,” Nurkic said. “I was like, ‘I didn’t hear right, man. He can’t speak my language, right?’ So we go back and forth, and he goes again to [shoot] free throws. And he repeats that. It was [a] curse word, but I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure he said that.'”
[email protected] showed @bosnianbeast27 that #MambaMentality 😂 pic.twitter.com/IUQKi6VzJC
Nurkic entered the league in 2014 and Bryant retired in 2016, so the matchups were limited. But that didn’t stop Bryant from trying to gain an edge, even in his final years. Nurkic said Bryant tried to learn a little bit about each opponent, so it’s possible Kobe racked up a few curse words in multiple languages just in case he needed them.
You can check out the full interview with Nurkic and Everett below.
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