In the wake of the sudden death of Kobe Bryant, people have shared some compelling anecdotes online that center around the Los Angeles Lakers legend. Two members of the hit show Entourage recently recalled the time the Black Mamba surprised them during rehearsals and made an outlandish basketball bet.
During Sunday’s NBA All-Star game, Jerry Ferrara, who played the character Turtle on the show, shared a text exchange between him and his castmate, Kevin Connolly, who played Eric Murphy. The two remembered meeting Bryant for the first time.
Back in 2005, HBO’s Entourage was one of the hottest shows on television and Bryant was one of the best basketball players on the planet. As reported by Complex, the Lakers guard had injured his ankle in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers which left him sidelined for a month.
Ferrara’s memory of the chance meeting had become “fuzzy” over the last 15 years so he texted his friend to fill in the gaps. He shared the text exchange on Twitter for fans to read. Connolly recalled the cast had just finished filming at the Staples Center, which was the first time they had shot there. The actor says Bryant walked onto the court wearing a walking boot on his injured foot.
All cast and crew stopped what they were doing and just started watching the shooting guard as he put up some shots. He approached Ferrara and Connolly at half court and had a proposition. Bryant wanted to bet them $100 a piece that he could hit a half-court shot with his off-hand. When it was unsuccessful, he immediately doubled down on the bet.
“Building is completely empty. Out walks Kobe in a boot. He starts shooting around. Kobe strolls out to half court looks over at us. And says…Left hand on one foot 100 bucks each, you guys in? We’re all in shock. Uhhhh hell yeah we’re in. Kobe puts one up…in and out. Just missed. Looks over. Double or nothing?”
Without hesitation, the actors agreed to the “double or nothing” wager. The 18-time All-Star launched another half-court shot with his left hand.
“He puts up another one…same thing. In and out. He walks off the court half smiling, half annoyed.”
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Can’t stop crying . Maybe because we know how hard he worked and now he could be with his family and explore that next chapter . We just see the glory and not all the hard work that lead to him making it look easy .... look at that smile, he was a kid who got to do what he loved . Halfway into his journey he’s taken away with 8 others . Make every moment count. #kobe
Even though Bryant walked away, the story did not end there. Both Ferrara and Connolly were so thrilled with the impromptu run-in that they did not even care about the money owed. The actors stayed in the arena because they had seats to the game later that night.
Connolly recalls that around halfway through the second quarter, they were approached by an unknown man. He tapped them on the shoulder and when the duo turned around. he simply handed them an envelope.
“From Kobe,” the man told the Entourage actors.
Bryant made good on the wager, and there were eight “100 dollar bills” inside the envelope.