Kobe Bryant is a born winner. With a lightning quick release of the ball, an uncanny ability to read defenses and make the right play, and a never-ending supply of confidence when it comes to the Stare Down, Kobe has been a force on the basketball court for years.

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It’s All-Star season, and all of the expected big names are in New York this week to compete in the NBA All-Star Game. Kobe Bryant is the most popular name in the game, and is likely to capture the MVP award this year. And naturally, Jack Nicholson has taken it upon himself to hijack Kobe’s first All-Star interview.

After Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces hit the big screen, Jack Nicholson became purely star material, so copying someone else’s scenes wasn’t really an option for him, though Kobe Bryant may disagree.

Nicholson, a die-hard Lakers fan, waited until halfway through Bryant’s second NBA season to meet the rising star, and then flew across the nation to do it.

And boy, did he come in with a bang.

Kobe Bryant appeared in 15 NBA All-Star Games throughout his career.


Kobe-Bryant-Jack-Nicholson-1-1024x717 During Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals versus the Boston Celtics in Los Angeles, record producer Lou Adler and actor Jack Nicholson cheer for Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. | AFP/Getty Images/Gabriel Bouys

Bryant’s schedule was filled with NBA All-Star Games. He made his debut appearance in 1998 and went on to appear in every single one from 2000 until 2016, the year he retired.

Bryant appeared in 15 All-Star Games in all, averaging 19.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per contest. Only LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have played more minutes on the floor and scored more points and made more field goals.

Between 2002 and 2011, Bryant won the MVP Award four times. In the celebrity-fests, the last of the group was his trademark moment. In a 148-143 win, he scored 37 points on 14 of 28 shooting.

Kobe Bryant’s first NBA All-Star Game was completely hijacked by Jack Nicholson.

In the 1970s, Jack Nicholson became a regular at Lakers games. There are photos of him in the front row at games or hanging out with players all over the internet. Bryant was one of them, although not so much at the beginning.

Bryant joined the Lakers as an 18-year-old in 1996 and spent his first two seasons on the bench, averaging 21.1 minutes per game. Bryant, who was 19 at the time, couldn’t be kept out of the 1998 All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York since he wasn’t in LA’s starting lineup.

Back then, NBC held the broadcast rights to the event, and Bryant was interviewed before the game by commentator Jim Gray. The young star expressed his excitement and nerves about taking the court with such a talented group.

Nicholson quietly stopped the conversation at that moment and requested Bryant to sign a basketball. Gray asked Nicholson if he had any advise for Bryant, which he did.

Nicholson said, “Heat up.”

“It’s a LA family thing,” Bryant joked. This weekend, we both went to New York.” 

Bryant drew a lot of attention in his first game. In a 135-114 defeat, he led the Western Conference squad with 18 points, six rebounds, and an assist.

After the passing of Lakers great Jack Nicholson, he gave a rare interview.

Nicholson, who is now 84, resigned a few years ago and hasn’t been seen in public in a long time. In January 2020, only hours after Bryant died in a helicopter accident, he granted a rare interview.

Nicholson told the CBS station in Los Angeles, “My response is the same as virtually everyone of LA.” “There’s a huge hole in the wall where we believe everything is solid. It hurts you when you’re accustomed to seeing and talking to Kobe. It’s simply a horrible situation.”

“I recall the entirety of how terrific a player he was,” he said. We’ll miss him and think about him all the time.”

Basketball Reference provided all stats. 

Michael Jordan Reveals His Last Text Conversation With Kobe Bryant a Month Before His Tragic Death

I was watching the All-Star game last night on TNT when the player introductions went by and I had no idea who was going to be interviewing Kobe Bryant next. I was confused until I heard who was coming to the interview table. It was the star of one of the movies most famous for talking over the top of other people: Jack Nicholson. (And yes, I realize this could be considered a spoiler for those who don’t know what movie this is from.). Read more about kobe bryant death and let us know what you think.

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  • where was kobe bryant born
  • where did kobe bryant grow up
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