NFL Hall of Famer and Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown called out Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant during an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show Tuesday, saying the five-time NBA champion is “confused about culture.”
UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 12, at 12:10 p.m. ET by Dan Favale
Kobe responded to Brown's criticism with the following tweet:
Turns out the Black Mamba hits back.
---End of update---
Host Arsenio Hall asked Brown for his opinion on Bryant—who recently returned to the court after rehabbing a torn Achilles he suffered in April. Brown didn’t hold back.
“He threw Shaq under the bus,” Brown said. “He is somewhat confused about culture because he was brought up in another country so it doesn’t quite fit (with) what’s happening in America.”
A few members of the audience laughed and clapped following the comment involving Shaquille O’Neal, but you could hear a pin drop when Brown elaborated that Kobe is “confused about culture.” The show is filmed in Los Angeles, so clearly there were numerous Bryant supporters in the crowd.
But Brown didn’t stop there. He did admit that Bryant is an “unbelievable athlete,” but that’s the only nice thing he had to say.
"In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call," Brown said. "So if I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. And Kobe would be one of them."
Again, Brown certainly didn’t sugarcoat his feelings.
It’s still not exactly clear why the NFL legend doesn’t much care for Bryant, but those were some admittedly harsh words. So much for holiday cheer.