Kobe never forgave George Karl for benching him in that 4th quarter.
Future NBA Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Lakers' living legend Kobe Bryant recently sat down for an interview with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson, as the former Clippers teammates kicked off season 2 of their "Knuckleheads" podcast.
During their discussion, Kobe touched on his early years with the Lakers, including playing in the 1997-98 All Star Game against Michael Jordan in just his second season in the league. Needless to say, that was a major moment for 19-year old Kobe, especially when you consider he skipped college just so he could face MJ before he retired.
"The hype of going up against Mike, it was - let's go, show me. Like I've been watching you play my whole life. Show me. I want to see this - everybody calling you Black Jesus and all this other crap - you gonna have to show me, man.
And I went out there and we went head up and I think his respect and his appreciation for me really grew that day because he saw on the biggest stage, I didn't shy away from that confrontation. I looked forward to that confrontation."
Bryant led the Western Conference All Stars with 18 points (and one assist!), while Jordan led all scorers with 23 points to go along with his eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in the East's 135-114 victory.
It's worth noting that George Karl elected not to play Kobe at all in the fourth quarter, which is something that the Black Mamba held against Karl, and his Denver Nuggets, for years to come in the playoffs.
Check out the clip of Kobe's appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast below, and click here to listen to the full episode.