Regardless of his impact beyond one single moment, former Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell will forever be idolized in Valley sports lore for his clothesline of nemesis Kobe Bryant.
Now retired, Bell stopped by ESPN’s Highly Questionable to talk about his NBA career. During the segment, he revealed a fun story about his infamous play in Game 5 of the Suns’ 2006 first-round series victory over Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Kobe had said (after the play) I wasn’t hugged enough as a child,” Bell recalled. “My mom kind of found him after the instance and we had beat them and offered him a hug in the bowels of the Phoenix arena. She really feels a part of that story.”
Co-host Bomani Jones, astonished Bell’s mom confronted Bryant after the Suns won the series, called her “gangster.”
We’re inclined to agree.
Bell, of course, took a one-game suspension after clotheslining Bryant but returned for Game 7 as the Suns prevailed.
Bryant called the Suns a true rival and admitted his hate for the franchise during his final visit to Phoenix this season. And yes, he and Bell are now cool.
Take a listen to Highly Questionable’s entire segment to hear Bell talk about whether or not he has a picture of his clothesline hanging in his house, plus his thoughts on playing with Allen Iverson and his gambling habits.