Is there anything more humiliating than getting turned down at the door when you’re trying to get into a party? No. Well, actually, yes. There is one thing that would be more humiliating than that—being an NBA player and getting turned down at the door of a party. Now, that would be humiliating, and believe it or not, Kobe Bryant knows all about it.
Former NBA player Olden Polynice made an appearance on the Brown and Scoop show on the Play.it podcast network today, and he revealed that, once upon a time, he actually had to help Kobe get into a party. At the time, Kobe wasn’t 21 yet, and the bouncer at the door of the party didn’t recognize him and wouldn’t let him in. That is, until Polynice talked to the bouncer and helped Kobe enter the club.
“I think it was his first or second year, and he was already too young to even be at the party, but it was All-Star Weekend,” Polynice said. “The bouncers didn’t recognize him. They didn’t know who he was, and I was the one that actually got him into the party. It was funny to me when I thought about it. I wonder what that bouncer is saying right now…18, 20 years later…’Oh my God, that’s Kobe Bryant I turned away.’ That, to me, was crazy how he’s evolved and become this legend, and when he first started, he was an unknown. That’s a testament to him is that story. He became one of the greatest players in our league, and people forget that. He didn’t play a lot of minutes early on in his career.”
You can listen to Polynice talk about getting Kobe into the party here:
During his appearance on the show, Polynice also told a story about the time he helped break up a fight between Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal. According to Polynice, he was trying out for the Lakers in 2001 when he walked into the gym one day and saw Kobe and Shaq going at it. He jumped in between them (brave man!) and ended the fight.
“They got into a fight,” he said. “I was the one who broke it up. I had to grab Shaquille. This dude is too big for me to be holding on to. I tried to tell Kobe at the time, ‘Yo man, back up,’ and he kept coming at him. I’m saying to myself, ‘Either he has a death wish or he doesn’t give a damn.’ After that, I said there’s something different about this kid than a lot of other people. He was not backing down from Shaquille at all.”
Polynice said the two were fighting about who should be in charge of the Lakers.
“Some crap,” he said. “‘It’s my team.’ ‘No, it’s my team.’ Seriously, that’s what it came down to. That’s what got the whole thing started. It was crazy. The reason I bring it up is because he had no fear and, to me, that was crazy. I was like, ‘Y’all need to break this up.’ There were punches thrown. All the punches missed. I think I caught more punches than they did. I stepped in there and Shaq grazed me and I wrapped him up and I’m holding on for dear life. Somebody ended up grabbing Kobe and that was it.”
You can listen to Polynice talk about the fight here:
Two more great Kobe stories for the seemingly never-ending list of them.
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[via CBS Sports Radio]