Jason Kidd: Players Gave Karl Malone a Hard Time When Kobe Bryant Waved Him off

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 8: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the 1998 NBA All-Star Game played on February 8, 1998 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1998 NBAE (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Steve Freeman/Getty Images

One of the earliest defining moments of Kobe Bryant's career came in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game when he waved off a pick-and-roll call from Karl Malone.  

During an appearance on ESPN's Hoop Streams, Jason Kidd recalled everyone on the Western Conference team being "in awe or shock" in that moment and Malone received a hard time from his teammates on the bench afterward. 

Bryant became the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19 years old when he was named to the Western Conference squad in 1998. The Los Angeles Lakers star was still at a prove-it stage of his career and wanted to isolate one-on-one. 

In 2010, Sports Illustrated's Frank Hughes noted Malone told head coach George Karl to "get me the hell out of this game" when Bryant waved him off. 

The game was, in some ways, Bryant's coming-out party on a national stage. He led the West with 18 points and was the main defender against Michael Jordan. 

Jordan got the glory at the end of the game, as he was named MVP after scoring 23 points in the Eastern Conference's 135-114 win. 

But the moment between Bryant and Malone is the most memorable part of the 1998 All-Star Game that is still discussed 22 years later.