Doug Gottlieb: “One night, and I have talked about this, Kobe and I had been missing each other in terms of talking about youth basketball. He coached his late daughter, Gianna, and they had the 'Lady Mamba’s', and I had my own team and program in the same area, drawing from the same schools. We would exchange texts, ideas, and frustrations, and it was really, really cool. He would shoot me a text and be like ‘can you grab a drink tonight?’ Finally, I had drinks with him… Of the things that he talked about -- LeBron was coming to town, it was already done, and he said to me unequivocally, ‘LeBron does not know or understand LA’, and ‘he’s not built for it the way I’m built for it.’ So I said ‘what do you mean?’ He’s like ‘look man, I shot those two airballs when I was 17, and I thought the world came crashing down. My reaction to it was I lived in the gym all summer. The way in which people reacted to those airballs fueled me my whole career. I took negativity and it fueled me. When there was negativity when it was me and Shaq it fueled me. That’s not what fuels LeBron. He’s just built different. He’s not the savage competitor that me and Mike are. I’m the type of killer that wants to kill you and your whole family. LeBron just wants to be loved, play ball, wants to win games, but he is not the killer that me and Mike are.’ That’s his perception. He’s in an area in LA that has never embraced him. Even before Kobe died, they had murals of Kobe, and then put a mural of LeBron and people defaced it. Like, that’s a real thing… The reality to it is LeBron is not really a Laker, and those people who are calling you a ‘fake Laker’ essentially are those people who you just told they don’t know anything about basketball. Are Lakers fans frontrunners? Hell yes. Do you know who else is? ALL OF THE FANS ARE FRONTRUNNERS. THE SECOND YOU LOSE THEY TURN ON YOU, THAT’S FANDOM. Whether he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, LeBron has never understood what he’s walking into. The Rams won the Super Bowl – ‘HEY, LET’S HAVE A THREE-TEAM PARADE!’ That got ZERO traction and no one even considered it. Why? Because nobody likes the Lakers or LeBron. That’s the secret. If they win, cool, put up another banner, but if they lose – ‘it’s LeBron, he’s not really a Laker anyway.’ He didn’t know what he was walking into that, and he’s not really built for that. He’s not built for that level of criticism. This isn’t really something that he’s ever understood or felt, so he’s reacting poorly to it, but he’s acting poorly to it because he didn’t prepare himself for it nor he is truly equipped for it.” (FULL Segment Above)
Listen to Doug Gottlieb discuss a conversation he once had with the late Kobe Bryant in regards to Bryant’s personal thoughts around the breaking news at that time that LeBron James was going to sign with the Lakers.
Gottlieb recanted the conversation with the late great during a segment in which Gottlieb was talking about the viral video on Monday that showed LeBron exchanging words with lippy Lakers fans courtside, telling them they don’t know anything about basketball besides the ball going through the hoop.
Gottlieb says the awkward confrontation was just another obvious sign that LeBron was never ‘built for Los Angeles’, or being the frontman of the NBA’s most glamorous franchise, as Gottlieb says Bryant's own words in 2018 directly echoed the same sentiment when Bryant and Gottlieb had met for drinks to discuss their involvement with youth basketball in the Los Angeles area.
Paraphrasing his conversation with the Laker legend, Gottlieb says that Bryant told him that LeBron 'wasn't built for LA', and said that LeBron 'isn't a killer like me and Mike [Jordan].'
Check out the audio above as Gottlieb details why he doesn’t think Lakers fans even care about the cratering team at this point because they know LeBron is just a ‘faker Laker' and not cut from the same cloth as the Black Mamba himself.