Did Kobe Really Offer Gerald Wallace $500K If He Missed This Game-Clinching Free Throw?

In the Jim Croce song “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” the crooner advised listeners not to do the following things:

  • Tug on Superman’s cape
  • Spit into the wind
  • Pull the mask off of the old Lone Ranger
  • Mess around with Jim

If Croce had a time machine and could see 40 years into the future, perhaps he would have also added the line “Don’t talk trash to Kobe Bryant when he’s about to shoot a clutch free throw.” Unfortunately, he didn’t, and Gerald Wallace really could have used that tip before a Nets game against the Lakers back in 2012.

While there are many legendary stories of Kobe jawing at his opponents, you rarely saw anyone try to give it back to him, and there’s probably a good reason for that.

Wallace tried to get inside the Black Mamba’s head before a free throw late in the fourth quarter that would have pushed the Lakers lead from two to three. As if that wasn’t dumb enough, he took it a step further and appeared to agree on a $500,000 bet that Bryant would miss the shot.

In the least-shocking outcome ever, Kobe made it, but we doubt it cost Wallace a cool half a million. Consider this a lesson to all NBA players about learning to pick your spots. Also, Kobe is retired now, but he can still dole out lessons.

(H/T: BroBible)