“Fix That Motherf***er!”: When LeBron James Turned to Coach K to Control Kobe Bryant’s ‘Solo Act’

Raahib Singh
|Published 24/11/2022

In 2004, the US Men’s Basketball Team suffered a massive defeat in the Olympics. Sure, they won the Bronze medal. However, for the team which had unchallenged dominance in the sport, bronze was a huge slap in the face. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and many young stars suffered their blow in their first outing in the US jersey.

Because of this, a team was assembled in the following off-season. Their only goal? Bring the gold back to the US. Mike Krzyzewski was appointed as the Head Coach, and a roster of the greatest players in the NBA was assembled.

This roster failed in the 2006 World Games, winning yet another bronze. In 2007, they recruited Kobe Bryant to the team, as the final missing piece on the roster. However, there were a lot of reservations about adding the Black Mamba, the biggest of which was his lone star act.

Also Read: “Still Have a LeBron James Jersey at my Dad’s House in my Bedroom”: Stephen Curry Reminisces ‘The King’ attending a Davidson Game in 2008

LeBron James went to Coach K to curb Kobe Bryant’s selfishness

While Dwyane Wade was struggling with his injuries, Kobe Bryant was taking over as the 2-guard role on the team. From being one of ‘The Guys’, Wade’s role shrank down to the 6th man off the bench.

While Kobe was clearly the biggest star in basketball at that point, his habit of being selfish with the ball had been a cause for concern for the team. There were doubts within the team as well as from the media.

In the book “Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski,” there were accounts of the Redeem Team as well. One of the same described the team’s win over Australia in an exhibition game. During the contest, Kobe put up a lot of low-percentage shots. LeBron James wasn’t too pleased about it, and let Coach K hear the same. He let a warning pass by to coach while passing him on the bench.

“Yo, Coach, you’d better fix that motherf***er.”

Coach K took care of the same, and sat Kobe down, and played game footage. He pointed out the ‘bulls*it shots’ and told Bryant to be more fluid with the offense.

Also Read: Having Spent $4 Million On A Ring, Kobe Bryant Expressed How Vanessa Bryant Let Him Embrace His ‘Dorky’ Side

LeBron calling Kobe out helped Team USA get a Gold Medal

After the initial calling out, the team had no issues in the tournament. Instead of looking for his shots first, Kobe started looking for the best possible plays. He started in all eight games, averaging 23.5 minutes, 15.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.

If LBJ hadn’t kept the Mamba in check, the Redeem Team might not have achieved the same success they did.

Also Read: “Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning’s final games had 1 thing in common- NO PASSING”: John Cena once savagely destroyed the Lakers legend

About the author
Raahib Singh

Raahib Singh

Raahib Singh is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A Computer Science Engineer by qualification, Raahib's passion for sports drew him toward TSR. He started playing basketball when he was 14, and fell in love with the sport ever since. His interest in the NBA developed at the same time as when Stephen Curry put the entire league on notice. Raahib was spellbound by Steph and the Warriors and has been a fan since. From starting off as a Warriors fan, Raahib has evolved into someone who can never miss a good game of basketball. He converts his love for the game and the knowledge he has gained into the articles he writes. In his spare time, he enjoys cricket, going for walks, and murder mysteries.

Read more from Raahib Singh