Jason Kidd: Players Gave Karl Malone a Hard Time When Kobe Bryant Waved Him offMay 7, 2020
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.