Teenage Kobe’s Chilling Response to Armed Gangster

From a very tender age, Kobe Bryant displayed an unwavering fearlessness that was truly remarkable. A newly surfaced anecdote about the Black Mamba only solidifies this quality further.

Music executive Steve Stoute spent a considerable amount of time around a young Kobe during the basketball legend’s exploration of a rap career. Stoute recently appeared on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay, and recounted a tense incident involving an 18-year-old Bryant and a New York City gangster.

“One night we went to this bar, and back then, street guys would buy all of the Cristal [champagne],” Stoute recalled. “But let me tell you something. They’re buying the Cristal…If somebody comes in and you order Cristal, you got to check in.”

Stoute wisely opted not to order the pricey champagne, stating “I didn’t want to do it. I’m like f**k this. I’m not doing this.” Later that night, around 2 or 3 AM at a diner, the same street figure was present. Despite the intimidating atmosphere, the teenage Kobe boldly mocked the gangster’s outfit while being somewhat loud and boisterous.

This story paints a picture of Bryant’s trademark self-assurance and unwillingness to be fazed, even in precarious situations involving hardened street figures – traits that stayed with him throughout his legendary career.

“I’m like, ‘bro, he’s not going to just chill with that attitude.'” Stoute recalled the tense exchange. “The guy sends someone over, saying ‘yo [person] wants to talk to you.’ So I go outside…and he’s got the gun out. I tried to diffuse it, saying ‘yo, he’s just a young man.’ The guy didn’t even know who Kobe Bryant was at the time, alright?”

Stoute attempted to resolve the volatile situation peacefully. “I’m like, ‘He’s a young man. He’s cool, whatever.’ But when Kobe came outside and saw the gun, I told him ‘go back in.’ Without flinching, Kobe responded ‘I’m not going nowhere.'”

The confrontation took place right on the streets of 23rd and 9th Avenue in New York City. “He did that. At 18 years old. He said he ain’t going nowhere,” Stoute emphasized, still in awe of Kobe’s unflinching fearlessness even when staring down the barrel of a gun.

It was a startling display of the legendary Mamba Mentality and ice-cold demeanor that became hallmarks of Kobe’s career. He really was as cold-blooded as they come.