One of the best fights in NBA history, at least according to our estimation, was Kobe Bryant vs. Chris Childs in 2000. The former New York Knick landed a couple of blows on the Black Mamba, which is stunning to think about now given Kobe’s ice-cold reputation. But according to Childs, the beating could have been worse.
Appearing on Anthony Donahue’s Knicks Blog Radio, Childs recounted the event from his perspective. Basically, the whole situation took off when a young Kobe, apparently looking to prove himself as a tough NBA player, laid into Childs with an elbow, to which officials in the game did nothing.
You can listen to the whole audio in the link above, but the New York Post did some of the transcribing:
I said: ‘Young fella, do that again, there’s going to be a problem.’ [Kobe said]: ‘What are you going to do?’
“We go around the pick and he hit me again. By that time, enough is enough. I’m back home. This young guy is trying me. I walk up to him — if you watch it, he hits me with a little shoulder. He’s 6-6. I’m 6-3 at the time. I got to get him off of me. I give him a little head nudge. From that point on, it’s game on. I took a few boxing lessons. I know how to defend myself.
“When I hit him, I didn’t want to hurt him. I knew he was an up-and-coming guy. I remember back in the day watching Kermit Washington hit Rudy T [with an infamous punch during a game in 1977]. I didn’t want to get that label of hurting a guy’s career. So I just happened to tap him and let him know you’re trying the wrong guy.’’
So there you have it: Childs, in his own words, explaining how things could have ended much worse for Bryant.
The NBA isn’t nearly as, shall we say, volatile as it used it be. Guys get flagrant fouls now for what might have been regular fouls not that long ago. But we still have the fights, and Childs landing two punches on Kobe is one of the all-time memorable ones.
(Via the New York Post)