Lakers Rumors: The time Kobe Bryant cussed out Charles Barkley

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Charles Barkley attends the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Charles Barkley attends the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Turner Sports) /
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Kobe Bryant
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) – Lakers Rumors Kobe Bryant /

Lakers Rumors: There is nobody quite like Kobe Bryant.

Charles Barkley does not hold back when he believes that players, executives or coaches are not doing things the right way. That includes Kobe Bryant. Some get upset, but don’t spend three hours texting expletives. Lake Show Life looks at the game in question and a very entertaining playoff series.

Charles Barkley has long been one of the NBA’s most interesting characters. Very few athletes have been able to transcend playing a sport to taking celebrity to an even higher level in their next chapter on television.

Barkley’s combination of humor and honesty makes him one of the best commentators the NBA has to offer. He along with his cohorts, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson has set the blueprint of NBA analysts shows on the multi Emmy award-winning “Inside the NBA” on TNT.

Charles Barkley’s accomplishments on television tend to overshadow these facts.

  • He is considered one of the top power forwards in NBA history. Especially for his size.
  • He was the NBA Most Valuable Player back in 1993.
  • He was the leading scorer on the Dream Team (Yes, this includes Michael Jordan!) in the 1992 Olympics.
  • He is on the top 50  ALL-Time NBA players list.

Charles Barkley has acknowledged that his famous no-nonsense approach has angered current and former players over the course of his very successful 20-year broadcasting career with TNT. He even lost his best friend Michael Jordan criticizing his leadership running the then Charlotte Bobcats. There has been no reconciliation.

So if Charles Barkley can ruffle the feathers of Jordan whose grudges are as famous as his NBA accomplishments, how about Kobe Bryant? Lake Show Life has followed Sir Charles’ media exploits in the past.

Now that the NBA has been out for months and won’t be back for a few more weeks, Barkley has been sharing some of the most memorable moments in his career as a player and broadcaster. It was entertaining to find out how the Icon, Kobe Bryant once cussed him out over the phone via text message for no less than three hours straight.

"“The great Kobe Bryant one night, remember that game he wouldn’t shoot in the second half, I called him out after that,” said Barkley. “He shot one time in the second half – he was trying to prove a point [that] he didn’t have any help, and I was livid [about] what he tried to do, and I called him out, and when I got off the air … Kobe started texting me for the next three hours, and we’re going back and forth and he’s calling me every MF and every SOB in the world, and I’m laughing as I get these and I’m like, ‘Yo man, pick up the phone and call me.’”"

Lake Show Life did some digging and narrowed it down to the Lakers’ 121-90 loss to Phoenix in Game 7 of the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Here are some of the highlights of the Kobe/Barkley debate in context.

  • Kobe Bryant took only three shots in the second half.
  • After that game, Barkley called Bryant “very selfish” on TNT.
  • Barkley claimed that Bryant refused to shoot the ball in order to highlight the lack of support he had around him at that time.

What Charles Barkley said at the 3:00 mark of the video probably set Kobe off.

"“I think he stopped shooting because he wanted to say, ‘Those guys didn’t help me.’ Because normally, if they got down by 20 points, he would try to take over. He was not aggressive at all, he was not shooting the ball.”"

The three-hour texting session definitely sounds like something Kobe would do. Who knows, the breakdowns in the text messages probably planted seeds for his “Detail” series on ESPN+ years later.

This period was in the middle of championship eras when the Lakers offloaded Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat to hand the future of the franchise to Bryant. It couldn’t be easy for anyone in Lakers Nation to watch O’Neal win his fourth NBA ring weeks later.

However, it started an evolution in the overall game of Kobe Bryant and this series was one of the most exciting series of the postseason.

Lake Show Life takes a look back at the series and weighs in on who was right at the time. Was Charles Barkley right in saying that Kobe was selfish? Was Kobe trying to prove a point? Was he making an exit strategy? Let’s start with Kobe’s season. It was epic and there was this game that he seemed to play well in.