As Kobe Bryant was on his way out the door of his NBA career, he spent a lot of time taking stock of his memories, from both his playing career and before. One of the strangest such trips down memory lane was his story that Penny Hardaway didn’t treat him nicely when a high school-aged Kobe asked for his autograph. Kobe claimed he “carried that with me my whole career,” which is the most Kobe thing. You know what else is the most Kobe thing? Conveniently misremembering events in his life so that he can claim he was doubted or slighted and use it for motivation!
If Penny Hardaway’s account of their interaction from ESPN’s Highly Questionable is correct, then the two had a normal conversation wherein Kobe asked Penny for basic draft advice and Penny gave him logical answers. It’s boring, but it’s far more likely than Penny just being a jerk to a tall high schooler for no apparent reason. Except, if Kobe used it as motivation to fuel his career, it was clearly worth it — we’ll just let him have this one for himself. But for the rest of us, let’s not go labeling Penny as a mean dude based on Kobe’s purposefully amended memories.