All-time great comedians generally make their pieces on the hottest subject around the world. Dave Chappelle once had a bit on Kobe Bryant that depicts the life of the Lakers legend accurately.
Kobe Bryant was probably at the peak of his life at the time. Being a 3x NBA champ, 5x All-Star, 4x All-Defensive team selection, a slam dunk contest champion, and was already on his way to being the greatest of all time at 25 years of age.
But a particular action of the hot-headed Mamba in 2003 brought disgrace for him and everyone associated with him when a 19-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault.
Although the charges were dropped before going to trial because of the accuser’s unwillingness to testify, and Bryant escaped with a settlement, it was just too late as those allegations remain the only stain in his otherwise legendary life.
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) February 4, 2020
“It’s like a judge rolled a basketball at Kobe Bryant ‘s feet and said, ‘play for your freedom’.”: Dave Chappelle
Bryant used to fly back and forth from his hearing to the matches and used to score 30-40 points like he came fresh from an offseason. Sometimes he used to land just minutes before the starting whistle of the games.
But that had some effect on his personality as well as his team as they lost the 2003-04 NBA Finals and Shaq left for Miami as his relationship with The Mamba started going downhill.
Around the same time, legendary comedian Dave Chappelle, who famously left a deal with Comedy Central for $50 million and also the country for a while, had a bit on how he felt watching Kobe play when the Lakers’ star went through the case.
“Kobe played ball like he was trying to beat those charges on the court. It’s like a judge rolled a basketball at his feet and said, ‘play for your freedom’.”
That might be one of Chappell’s most underrated and arguably the best bit of all time. Forget the hilarity of his physical performance for a moment and just read these lines. They are as great of satire as any artist has ever written. Given the context and sensitivity of this case, it didn’t get as much popularity as it should have.
As we know, following that case, Bryant would win two more rings along with an MVP and 2 Finals MVPs and 13 more All-Star appearances in the next 13 years and finish his NBA career as one of the GOATs and an undisputed top-10 players of all time.