Kobe Bryant and Jason Whitlock didn’t exactly see eye to eye when the latter questioned the Lakers superstar at All-Star Weekend 2011.
There’s no doubt that Jason Whitlock is one of the most detested, polarizing journalists in his country. He started his career as a sportscaster off at ESPN alongside the likes of Stephen A Smith and Jemele Hill.
Whitlock was not tapping nearly as deeply into his political ideology for sporting takes in 2011 as he is today. However, he was also not really a revered member of the ESPN national media coverage team.
People were on his back for some of his takes, which usually came from a place of disapproval for players. But by and large, the former ESPN and Fox Sports analyst did indeed have a reputation worth protecting.
This meant that when he did voice a controversial opinion or a misplaced question, Whitlock wasn’t lambasted or chastised by his readers half as much as he is today.
Kobe Bryant, however, did provide one enduring image for posterity in conversation with Jason Whitlock.
Kobe Bryant shut Jason Whitlock up for a bad question at the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend
The Black Mamba was talking about the experience of playing in his 13th All-Star Game at the pre-game presser. He talked about the energy he experienced from the young talent all around him on the Western Conference roster.
For some reason, this became a cue for Jason Whitlock to pose a leading question to Kobe Bryant. He framed his question in the following manner:
“Kobe, not to twist your words or read too much into what you said. But ‘being around young players energized you’, that’s not a statement about maybe you’d like to see some young players on your team?”
Having given countless interview answers up until that point in his career, Bryant wasn’t falling for the obvious bait. He addressed Whitlock in straightforward fashion, refusing to answer his question.
Kobe shittin all over Jason Whitlock is a video we all need to see today. I stand with LeBron…. justice for #makhiabryant
— ➐ (@HoodieLBJ) April 22, 2021