Kobe Bryant stood up to a gangster with a gun to his face at age 18 – Steve Stoute reveals

Stephen Nartey March 08, 2024
Kobe Bryant/Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Record executive Steve Stoute has revealed that Kobe Bryant was not only a star on the court but was also a brave soul. He recounted a story of how Bryant stood up to a gangster outside a New York City diner when Bryant was just 18 years old.

In an engagement with Shannon Sharpe, Stoute reflected on his early years working with the late Lakers legend and said young Bryant was involved in a tense situation during a night out in the Big Apple.

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

The record executive said he decided to opt out of ordering Cristal, expressing his disinterest in the champagne. He recalled that later, at a diner around 2-3 am, Bryant found himself in the presence of the same streetwise individuals, engaging one in a banter, including light-hearted teasing about the person’s attire, according to Daily Mail.

“I’m like, ‘he’s not chilling with that, bro.’ The guy sends somebody over, ‘yo [person] want to talk to you.’

“I go outside… he got the gun out. I’m like, ‘yo, he’s a young man.’ I’m trying to tell him. He didn’t even know who he was, all right?

“So he didn’t even know who Kobe Bryant is. I’m like, ‘He’s my young man. He’s cool‘, whatever.

“Kobe comes outside, sees the gun, I’m like, ‘go back in.’ He goes, ‘I’m not going nowhere.’ He did this on 23rd [Street] and 9th Avenue. He did that. At 18. He said he ain’t going nowhere.”

He also disclosed that he signed Bryant to a recording contract and assisted the young basketball star in his initial years in the NBA. Stoute mentioned that Bryant was initially part of a rap group but soon transitioned to a solo career after signing with him.

“He actually had a rap group,” Stoute said. “When I signed him, he was in a group. [But] you know, Kobe, god bless, he went solo soon after that.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 8, 2024


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