Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jamie Foxx claims he trash-talked Kobe Bryant to his final Lakers championship

Jamie Foxx, Jimmy Fallon
Jamie Foxx, Jimmy Fallon
Screenshot: The Tonight Show

Calling himself “the Black Forrest Gump” for all the times he’s found himself on the periphery of some pretty extraordinary celebrity shenanigans, Jamie Foxx took credit for the Los Angeles Lakers 2010 NBA championship. All right, eventual series MVP Kobe Bryant helped, but, as Foxx explained on Wednesday’s Tonight Show, it was really all Foxx’s fault.

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We say fault, because, as Texas-born Foxx reminded Jimmy Fallon, he’s a lifelong Dallas Mavericks fan, something that the 2010 Bryant mocked him mercilessly for before a Staples Center concert by Foxx. According to Foxx, the notoriously competitive Bryant wasn’t having any of Foxx’s teasing about the aging Bryant’s abilities going into the upcoming season. (The increasingly hobbled Bryant did give it up to that young LeBron James kid, with Foxx slipping into a defensively shifty-eyed Kobe impression for emphasis.)

But Foxx says that his one-upmanship of the then four-time NBA champ finally kicked Bryant into competitive overdrive. Enough so that Bryant skipped Foxx’s show entirely, instead walking straight to the Lakers training facility across the street, and alternating a furious workout with the sort of taunting texts that only come from a manically driven MVP when some actor-comedian-singer starts poking the hornet’s nest. Says Foxx, he was preparing to go onstage when he received the Scream-esque non sequitur, “Do you have some water?” Perhaps with a little trepidation mixed with his confusion, Foxx said that that was followed up with the communique, “You’re gonna need it, because you’re gonna choke on my fifth ring.” Take that, future Oscar-winner.

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For some, it’s the sort of anecdote that would be a lot more enjoyable without both Bryant’s untimely January death and that whole sexual assault scandal clouding the rosy memories, sure. (Plus, Celtics fans probably won’t dig it quite as much.) But Foxx—also impersonating a pre-fame Jay-Z diffidently hanging out at 2000-era Foxx’s house party—told Fallon it’s been his fate to run into, and possibly anger, the biggest stars around. Being no slouch fame-wise himself, Foxx also showed off a clip from his new, Netflix-premiering sort-of superhero movie, Project Power, costarring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and The Deuce’s Dominique Fishback. (Think Limitless with temporary superpowers, and a little Taken thrown in.)

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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