Kobe Bryant Identifies Himself as ‘Black Mamba’ on Call to Billy Hunter

Any story that features Kobe Bryant placing an ominous, late-night call to former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter is bound to be a good one.

But now that court documents in Hunter's ongoing lawsuit against the union that canned him reveal Bryant identified himself by one of his most famous nicknames, well...this story just got even better.

In the midst of the 2011 lockout, the players and owners were nearing a deal on revenue sharing that would have allowed play to resume.

Bryant was apparently eager to push that agreement forward.

Here's an excerpt from an article published by Ken Berger of CBS Sports that sets the unintentionally hilarious scene:

“Late in the evening before the Waldorf Astoria meeting, I was already in bed for the night when my phone rang," Hunter wrote in the court filing. "The caller identified himself as the ‘Black Mamba.' I knew it was Kobe Bryant, a superstar player for the Los Angeles Lakers and the highest paid player in the NBA."

Bryant informed Hunter that his agent, Pelinka also was on the phone.

At that point, Hunter said that Bryant urged him to accept a 50-50 split of revenue in the meeting the following day and "put this thing to bed. ... Do the deal."

This is all kinds of awesome.

First, Bryant refers to himself in the third person—always a sweet power move. But he goes one fantastic step further by utilizing a pseudonym that he created for himself.

Did he think it'd add to the intimidation factor of the call? Was he trying to protect his identity? I have so many questions.

Second, the particulars of the setting only add to the comedic impact. Hunter is half-asleep, surely overwrought by the stress of tense negotiations. But then he gets a phone call from someone claiming to be a snake who encourages him to "do the deal."

Can't you just see him co...

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