Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony took to Instagram Live on Friday to bless fans with some much-needed NBA content. The basketball legends chopped it up over some glasses of wine, discussing everything from the 2003 NBA draft to Wade’s retirement to an insane Banana Boat story. One of the highlights of the conversation, however, is when the two recalled their favorite memories of the Kobe Bryant.
Anthony kicked things off by sharing one of his first interactions with late NBA legend and how he was able to gain Bryant’s respect. The Trail Blazers star said he was a little hesitant to speak to Kobe during a Nuggets vs. Lakers game, as he was unsure how Bryant would respond.
“It’s hard to speak to people when you come on the court, ’cause you don’t know what their mentality is. They might dub you, right? They might not even say nothin’ to you. They might not shake your hand,” Anthony said. “So, Kob comes on the court—gives me dap, I give him dap. So, throughout the game, he’s sayin’ little shit to me, like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna let you go off now, until the fourth quarter. I’mma guard you in the fourth quarter.”
Anthony said he was confused, and wondered why Bryant wouldn’t guard him in the first three quarters.
“So, the game goes on and the fourth quarter comes. I mean he’s getting every call, he’s foulin’, they not callin’ shit. And he’s like, ‘I told you … Let’s go, let’s give the world what they want to see,” Anthony said. “He’s foulin’ me, grabbin’ me; he come down, I foul him hard … we just talkin’ trash.”
Anthony continued: “I had my braids done. The most disrespectful thing you can do is touch someone’s braids … He hit the bottom of my braids, like ‘Calm down, little bro.’ He little-bro’d me. He sonned me!”
Wade broke out in laughter.
“After the game, he came to me and he was like, ‘You got my respect,” Anthony said. “I’m like, ‘What are you talkin’ about? We got to play for your respect?’ … [Bryant] was like, ‘Nah, you didn’t back down … I wanted to see if you were gonna stand the test of time’ … but for him to almost crown me … That’s my story. I didn’t know I was being tested by him, but being tested, and passing the test without even knowing.”
You can hear Anthony’s full story above. He and Wade also touched on Bryant’s work ethic, his ambition, and how he kept his NBA circle tight.
Another highlight of the stream was the little jab thrown at Darko Milicic, who was selected by the Pistons ahead of Anthony in the 2003 draft. Wade recalled being surprised that Anthony wasn’t the No. 1 overall pick, as he didn’t know much about LeBron James or Darko. Immediately after the latter’s name was mentioned, Anthony asked, “Who?”
Darko was the Pistons’ No. 2 overall pick and mostly rode the bench while the team won the 2004 championship. However, Anthony is convinced Detroit would’ve had one or two more titles had they selected him instead.
Another memorable moment during the stream was when they recalled the time Anthony almost drowned during a vacation, and LeBron had to come to his rescue.
“It was my fault though, I was still trying to see the last bit of the barracuda, snorkeling and all that,” Anthony said. “I look up, the current is taking me to the middle of the ocean, like opposite from the boat … It was windy, all type of shit was going on through my head, I’ll be honest with you. Then I look up at the boat and I see ‘Bron jump off the boat like he is MacGyver. … He jumped off the boat into the water. He was bringing me back with one arm.”