Karl Malone Offers To ‘Knuckle Up’ With Kobe Bryant Over Longstanding Grudge

Karl Malone wants to take care of his grudge with Kobe Bryant the old fashioned way — by going toe-to-toe and fighting like men.

Malone played one season with Kobe Bryant, joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2003-04 campaign that ended with a loss to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. But that season was marked with some other drama, as Kobe accused Karl Malone of hitting on his wife.

For those who don’t remember, the Los Angeles Times summed it up.

“On Nov. 23, the night the Lakers played the Bucks at Staples Center, Vanessa was talking on the phone to Malone’s wife, Kaye. Kaye gave Vanessa her husband’s cellphone number, and Vanessa called Malone, who was sitting at courtside, and invited Malone’s child to join her.

Malone, wearing cowboy boots and a hat, eventually took the child to Vanessa.

Malone hugged Vanessa, and then Vanessa asked — as Manley recounts this part of the story — ‘Hey, cowboy, what are you hunting?’

‘She said it twice,’ Manley said, ‘and Karl answered the second time, “I’m hunting for little Mexican girls.” ‘

After the game Vanessa told Bryant that Malone had come on to her, and said several inappropriate things. She also told Bryant that she had called Malone’s wife and asked Kaye to get her husband away from her.

Bryant called Malone on his cellphone after the game, and Bryant laid into Malone. Bryant said Malone didn’t have much to say in return and didn’t deny anything.”

Apparently the two still have some bad blood. In an interview with HuffPost Live, Karl Malone alluded to the drama and said he preferred to settle his problems Old West style.

“We had a little issue,” Malone told host Marc Lamont Hill. “I don’t hold grudges… I love Westerns. I’m old-school Western. Back in the day, when you had a beef, you didn’t go get guns and knives… we just go back in the back with no cameras and knuckle up. Get it over with.”

Malone added that he would still square up against Kobe Bryant whenever the Lakers legend wanted to.

“It’s a standing offer,” Malone said. “Look, I don’t want no trouble. I don’t have a problem. People say whatever they want to say and that’s great. I’m 6-9, 272 [pounds] to be exact. I’m not hard to find. I don’t want no trouble. But if something got to go down, I’m not playing fair.”

Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant aren’t the only NBA legends now on bad terms. Last year, Charles Barkley explained that he had a falling out with former friend Michael Jordan over some comments he made about Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats.

[Image via Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images]