Being a good communicator was one of the traits of Kobe Bryant, which may have been unbeknownst to some basketball fans. In fact, the late NBA legend can speak multiple languages including Spanish and a little Chinese.
Having spent seven years of his early life in Rieti, Italy, Bryant sure was pretty fluent in speaking Italian. This has made speaking with his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Sasha Vujacic, who also speaks the language, a lot easier.
Vujacic won’t speak
Over the course of his eight-season spell with the Lakers, Vujacic and Bryant spoke in Italian on various occasions. Of course, most of which occurred on the basketball court. However, there was one Italian conversation with “Black Mamba” Vujacic loves to recall the most—their short chat after winning the 2010 NBA championship.
Unfortunately, as much as it was an unforgettable conversation, Vujacic can’t recall the exact Italian words Bryant uttered at the time. And according to Vujacic, he still remembers some of it, but he won’t divulge it.
“The words were ‘We knew it,’” Vujacic said on “Fair Game” of what Bryant told him after winning the NBA title. “[I] Will not say what he said. It was in Italian. It has something like ‘We knew it.'”
“What goes on on the court stays on the court,” he added. “[I] Can’t recall. I mean I’m trying to remember but not really.”
Kobe never used the language in a bad way
Die-hard Kobe Bryant fans are well aware of his toughness. Even in some little in-game trash talks, Mamba never backed down on anybody.
But regardless of how Bryant verbally savages some loudmouth opponents and even some of his teammates, Vujacic is 100% sure the Lakers icon never said anything bad about anybody behind their backs. And yes, not even in Italian.
“We would never talk bad about anyone,” the Slovenian confessed. “Not in any language.”
Sadly, Bryant can no longer shed some light on the said Italian convo with Vujacic. On the bright side, he left Vujacic something he will never forget for the rest of his life.
The great on and off-court relationship between Bryant and Vujacic was just one of the many stories that attest basketball can unite people regardless of their nationality. It is proof that no matter where you come from or what language you speak, basketball is a universal language.