A 2018 video of retired NBA player Stephen Jackson ripping into a reporter for asking if Kobe Bryant could handle playing in the Big3 basketball league was shared by a Bryant fan on Twitter. Jackson also shared the same video on his Instagram page on Sunday. The Big3 is a basketball league founded by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwaintinetz, where each team only has three players on the court at a time.
In the clip, a reporter asked Jackson if Bryant could handle the physical play of Big3 games.
"That question was rhetorical, okay? I can't spell rhetorical, but I know what it means," Jackson said. "That question was rhetorical. Kobe could play in any league, any league."
Jackson then made a plea for Bryant to join the league, and said Bryant would be just as "dominant" in the Big3 as he was in the NBA. Although Jackson said he meant no disrespect to the reporter, he later insisted, "I would never listen to anyone disrespect Kobe ever... not in my presence."
"Dat Way. GN World. Long Live Bean. Been rocking. #GBG," Jackson wrote when he shared the clip on Instagram.
Many of Jackson's fans loved the clip, and thanked him for showing support for Bryant.
"Never disrespect the goat! Mamba4ever... Kobe Mj lbj top 3 all time in any order," one fan wrote.
"The real ones know wassup Stak. You always showed love & respect to Bean," anther chimed in.
"Facts. It's a lot of people getting passes due to his untimely death, that have been known to extremely critical of him when he was alive," another wrote. "These individuals are probably going to get called out once things truly settle, as it still doesn't seem real."
Jackson has posted several tributes to Bryant since the Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. He has also been one of Bryant's most vocal defenders since the crash. In one Instagram video, Jackson lashed out at Charles Barkley for suggesting that people should not look up to Bryant as a "hero."
"Charles Barkley, you would never tell Kobe he was no hero to his face," Jackson said. "All of the time you've seen Kobe, you probably kissed his a—, to be honest, Charles. I f— with Charles Barkley, I show him all the respect in the world, but you would never say to Kobe's face he was no hero. I am surprised nobody said anything. He is a hero, bro. How is he not a hero? F— out of here, man, I’m tired of yall s—."
Jackson also waded into the controversy involving Gayle King and Snoop Dogg, after the rapper threatened King over an interview with Lisa Leslie, in which King mentioned the 2003 rape allegation against Bryant.
Jackson, 41, retired from the NBA in 2015 after playing with nine different franchises between 2000 and 2014. He won the 2003 NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs. He now hosts the All The Smoke podcast with fellow NBA veteran Matt Barnes.0comments
Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA titles. The two numbers he wore, 8 and 24, were both retired by the team after Bryant retired from basketball in 2016. He was 41 years old.
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