Lakers legend Kobe Bryant put up a spectacle at the American Airlines Center in response to Mark Cuban’s amnesty comments. The Mavs owner felt Kobe’s contract was a financial burden on the Lakers organization.
The late Kobe Bryant’s competitive zeal to succeed and work ethic were unfathomable, the Mamba Mentality a term that signified Kobe’s drive to be better every day. The 18x All-Star never backed away from a fight and was all ears about conversations around him.
Thus in 2013 when Mark Cuban suggested that the Lakers should amnesty Kobe owing to his expensive contract. The Lakers superstar was not going to let Cuban’s comments fly under the radar. The Mamba would respond by putting up a show at the Mavericks’ home.
During the time, Kobe was towards the last leg of his career, yet making a bank when it came to his contract with the Lakers organization. Thus Cuban’s remarks were in light of Kobe being close to father time.
“If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question, should they amnesty Kobe?”
“It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk. I’ll take a hit for a season rather than get rid of Dirk. That’s just it. I’ve made that commitment to him over the years and he’s returned that commitment. Maybe that’s selfish, but that’s just the way it is.”
Cuban had avoided luxury tax despite having Dirk Nowitzki on a $20M salary. The team had sacrificed, parting away key pieces from their 2011 championship roster.
“So I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make. Now, they’re in a big market, but they’re still limited. The Knicks, the same thing. Boston, same thing.”
Via: ESPN Dallas
Knowing the assassin Kobe was, he would respond in his typical Mamba fashion when the Lakers faced the Mavericks at the latter’s home.
Kobe Bryant had the perfect reply to Mark Cuban’s amnesty comments.
During a regular-season game between the LA Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks in 2013, Kobe would torch a phenomenal performance leading his team to victory. The 2x scoring champion didn’t forget what Cuban had said about him.
Kobe torched a 38-point performance that night, including twelve rebounds and seven assists. The 2x Finals MVP was 61.9% from the field and 80.0% from the 3-point line. The Lakers would defeat the Mavs 103-99. Kobe led his team in points and assists.
The Mamba would take to Twitter, with an epic line, taking a shot at Mark Cuban.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 24, 2013
However, there were no hard feelings between Cuban and Kobe, with the former trying to acquire him at one point. After Kobe’s tragic death in January 2020, the Mavs would retire his jersey number, paying the ultimate homage to the Hall of Famer.
The Black Mamba never shied away from a fight and would use the negativity and criticism around him as motivation that was something similar to what Bulls legend Michael Jordan did.