The two were able to get a few punches in before being separated by their teammates and members of the team’s coaching staff.
Almost 17 years since the incident, Childs spoke about what led to the fight, via ESPN’s True Hoop podcast, placing the blame on Bryant. He also added that he could’ve knocked Bryant out that time if he wanted to.
“I mean, if you watch the tape, he elbowed me twice. He started it. The reason I did…I looked at the ref and said, ‘Are you gonna do something about this?’ [The ref] put his hands out like, ‘Whatever.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, no problem, I got this.’ We run up and down the court and I say, ‘Young fella, if you do that again, I’ma take off on ya. I’ma take off.'”
“So when you watch the tape, when he comes around a pick, he kind of lightweight head butts me to get me off. So once he did that, he’s taller than me and I’m in striking distance. So I took off on him. I didn’t want to knock him out, ’cause I could have. But if I did, I’d still be suspended right now. I didn’t put the shoulder in, I didn’t lean into it. I didn’t want to hurt him.”
The altercation became one of the most unforgettable moments during the early stages of the millennium, and many fans still have a vivid memory of the blowup.
It may almost be two decades since it happened, but based on Childs’ comments, he’s not over it. Kobe Bryant is not exactly a guy to hold his tongue, so keep your eyes peeled for a Bryant retort.