Before Evan Turner played against Kobe Bryant for the first time as a rookie back in 2010, some of his 76ers teammates gave him advice. That advice? Don’t ever look Kobe directly in the eyes. Or else…
“Don’t ever look at him in the eyes!” Turner remembered his teammates saying earlier today as his Celtics prepared to play the Lakers tomorrow. “Just leave him alone!”
Turner had met Kobe before, but his teammates told him things would be different now that he was in the NBA. It was enough to scare the rookie into not looking into Kobe’s eyes when the Lakers and Sixers first took the court. But just before tipoff, Kobe cut the tension by walking up to Turner and surprising him. Rather than treating him like a rookie, Kobe killed Turner with some good old kindness—and even asked him about his mom.
“He was super nice to me,” Turner said. “I had teammates that said, ‘When you go out there, don’t look at him in his eye. Don’t talk to him or anything; it’s going to give him an edge.’ Like he’s some type of pit bull or something…Then he came up to me and patted me on my back. He was like, ‘How you doing? How’s your mom?’ I was like, ‘She’s all right.’”
What a minute. So the Black Mamba doesn’t really bite the heads off of unsuspecting rookies who dare to look him in the eyes? Interesting. But for what it's worth, Kobe did drop 33 that night, so maybe Turner's teammates were right.
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