Kobe Bryant has responded to the critique that former NFL legend, Jim Brown laid on him during a recent appearance on the “Arsenio Hall show.” Brown said he didn’t rock with Kobe because 1. Kobe threw Shaq under the bus, and 2. Kobe wasn’t culturally connected with the community because he grew up in Italy.
Check Kobe’s response.
“It surprised me in a sense that it came out of left field,” Bryant said. “I mean, I’ve never even met him, so it came out of left field but I do think it’s a great opportunity to have these conversations, to have this discussion.
“I think no matter where you come from, whether you come from Italy, whether you come from Inglewood [Calif.], whether you come from London, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, the conversation is that it doesn’t matter what color skin you are to begin with. But, I think it’s a good place to start to have a good conversation and try to educate one another and try to improve as a society from it.”
This conversation, though phrased differently is not unlike the one that took place last year on ESPN’s “First Take” regarding Washington Redskins QB, Robert Griffin III and if he was a “real brother” or a “corny brother.”
Kobe sent out the following tweet after the initial broadcast.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 12, 2013
He went on to explain the meaning behind the Tweet.
“If it’s a major issue that involves a quality or a perception of racial quality, I feel like that’s something that’s a big enough message that needs to be addressed,” Bryant said when asked about the tweet. “Obviously it’s a sensitive topic for everybody, but I think the best thing to do is not dance around it but to go at it with a full head of steam and generate conversation about it. So, that’s how I try to measure it.”
Bryant says he has no plans to meet with Brown for further dialog on the topic.