At 18, Kobe Bryant Confronted Armed Gangster – Steve Stoute

Record executive Steve Stoute has said that Kobe Bryant was not simply a great on the court, but also a fearless individual. He told a story about how Bryant stood up to a thug outside a New York City café when he was only 18.

after an interview with Shannon Sharpe, Stoute shared his early memories of working with the late Lakers legend, recalling an uncomfortable incident after a night out in New York.

“[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 stated that he chose not to order Cristal because he was unimpressed with the champagne. Later, in a diner about 2-3 am, Bryant encountered the same streetwise individuals and engaged in discussion, including light-hearted teasing over the person’s outfit, as reported by the 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 revealed that he signed Bryant to a recording contract and helped the young basketball sensation throughout his first years in the NBA. Stoute stated that Bryant was previously a member of a rap group but quickly switched 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.”

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