Mike D’Antoni reveals epic revenge line Jeremy Lin nearly fired after getting disrespected by Kobe Bryant

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

Jeremy Lin had a short but memorable run as a star player in the NBA when Linsanity took hold of the league.

It was during that time that Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers faced Lin’s New York Knicks. Leading up to the game, Bryant was asked to weigh in on the impressive production that Lin had been enjoying at the time. In classic Bryant fashion, the late legend responded with a cold remark.

When former Knicks and Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni took part in a recent podcast interview, he offered some hilarious insight into that period of time.

“Jeremy had this thing planned that he was going to say, ‘Well, I guess Kobe knows who’s my name is now,'” D’Antoni said. “He didn’t have the balls, guts to do that. He punted. He punted, but he really wanted to say that.”

Lin had a great reason to clap back at Bryant even if he reversed course at the last minute. After all, after Bryant’s cold message, Lin put in a masterful performance at Madison Square Garden against the Lakers.

He dropped 38 points in a huge performance. Moreover, the Knicks won the game.

The story is just another fascinating addition to the endless list of interactions that Bryant had with teammates and opponents during his storied career in the NBA. Given his famous obsession with the game and preparation, there is no doubt he knew what Lin had been doing for the Knicks. Likely, his discounting words were some form of a mind game.

Clearly, Lin rose to the challenge, and he likely earned Bryant’s respect in the process.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.