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How Kobe Bryant got revenge on Gilbert Arenas after his 60-point game vs. the Lakers

How Kobe Bryant got revenge on Gilbert Arenas after his 60-point game vs. the Lakers

If you were around for Gilbert Arenas' heyday with the Washington Wizards, then you probably remember when he scored 60 points against the Lakers on the road at the Staples Center in December of 2006. He was in the gold Wizards alternate jersey, he took a bow late in the game and Kobe Bryant afterward said he had "no conscience."

Well, it turns out the story goes deeper than that, as Arenas and former Wizards teammate Brendan Haywood explained on the 'Opinionated 7-Footers' podcast this week. Apparently, Arenas made a bit of a mistake later on that evening, one that Bryant didn't forget.

As they told it, ahead of their match-up with the Lakers, Haywood came up with a new nickname for Arenas, one that represented the antithesis of Bryant's 'Black Mamba' moniker and one that he could use to trash-talk Bryant.

"That's the enemy of the 'Black Mamba,' that's the one that fights. I'm gonna do that," Arenas said.

Arenas said he planned to taunt Bryant with the name during the game, but for the life of him couldn't remember it. But he did say it to Bryant eventually after he was reminded.

"Gil drops 60. We're flying out of L.A. and we're on the runway. Caron [Butler] is still cool with Kobe and calls Kobe. They're talking. Gil: 'hey man, who are you talking to? You're talking to Kobe? Put him on speaker phone,'" Haywood said.

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"'Hey man, if you're the Black Mamba, I'm the Black Mongoose.' He's on speaker phone. Kobe was like 'I'm gonna remember that when I come see y'all in D.C.'"

And Bryant did remember it, according to them. After the Wizards beat the Lakers 147-141 in overtime in L.A., the Lakers came to Washington just a few weeks later on Feb. 3.

"The next game when we played in D.C. two months later, Kobe walks by. He doesn't shake anybody's hand," Haywood said. "He smacks Gil on the butt and is like 'remember, you asked for this.'"

Bryant then dropped 39 points in a Lakers win. So, it backfired.

Arenas and Bryant had a nice little rivalry that year, but were never truly at odds. Earlier this year, Bryant helped inspire Arenas to get into coaching not long before Bryant passed.

You can listen to Arenas' full interview right here.

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Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Victor Oladipo has opted out of playing in the NBA's restart in Orlando, marking the biggest star yet who was expected to play backing out.

The news, which was first reported by the Athletic, is a health precaution as he aims to get 100 percent healthy for next season. He had played only 13 games this season after missing a full year due to a torn quadriceps tendon.

Oladipo, 28, is a two-time All-Star. His absence leaves the Indiana Pacers, the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference, without their best player.

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The Wizards happen to play the Pacers as part of their new eight-game schedule to close out the regular season. Now they won't see Oladipo, who they had yet to face this season. 

Given Oladipo's recent injury history, it is not all that surprising he would make this move. But it also could open the door for other players of his stature to decide similarly.

Oladipo is a star in the league, but not on a team expected to compete for the title. Will others in a similar boat decide not to go? Wizards guard Bradley Beal, for one, is still mulling his own decision on whether to play.

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Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Though he understands the reasons why, Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura can't help but be disappointed in the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, which were set to take place in Tokyo, Japan later this month.

Hachimura figured to play a prominent role for the host country, as one of Japan's most famous athletes and the best player on their basketball team. The plan is to play the games in 2021, still in Tokyo, and Hachimura hopes that remains the case despite continued uncertainty for all sporting events amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"I'm honestly so sad about it. We can't do anything about it," he said on Friday. "Of course, I would like to play in the Olympics. Next year, we'll see how things go."

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Hachimura had participated in some lead-up press events for the 2020 Olympics representing his country in the months before coronavirus hit. But, really, he had been looking forward to the 2020 Olympics for many years.

Hachimura has already made history as the first Japanese-born player to get selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Olympics this year were supposed to be another major step forward for the sport of basketball in Japan.

"Japan Olympics was one of my dreams to do. It was big to me. Ever since I started in basketball, they talked about the Olympics in 2020. Then, this happened," he said.

Hachimura should be able to still participate next year as long as the schedule works out. As of now, the NBA is aiming to begin the 2020-21 season in December. That would put them on track to end in time for Hachimura and other players to play in Tokyo.

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