Kobe Bryant ordered an NBA reporter to throw away the clothes he was wearing — and provide video evidence — or else the player would not grant him an interview, according to the journalist. (Watch the clip below.)
Marc J. Spears, a writer with the outlet Andscape, spoke of his encounter with Bryant in an animated video released Tuesday, which would have been the 44th birthday of the Lakers great. Bryant died in a helicopter crash in early 2020.
Spears said he had attempted to interview Bryant after a Lakers practice when the star snapped at him for wearing an Adidas sweatsuit.
“Why you disrespecting me like that?” Spears recalled Bryant saying. “Why you wearing this Adidas stuff, man? You know I’m Nike. I’m not gonna do the interview unless you get rid of that suit.”
Bryant, who had acrimoniously left a sponsorship deal with Adidas and soon after partnered with Nike, then softened a tad, according to Spears: They could talk as long as the journalist provided video of him throwing away the Adidas ensemble after the chat.
Spears said he did as he was told, adding that he now carries garb from all the major sports brands for athlete interviews “to make sure that I don’t disrespect them, because I don’t want to keep throwing away clothes like Kobe Bryant made me throw clothes away.”
Spears has told the anecdote in the past, though not with the cartoon treatment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.