Kobe Bryant identified himself by nickname 'Black Mamba' during a late-night call to to former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter during the NBA's infamous lockout in 2011.
Hunter has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit at the Los Angeles Superior Court against the NBPA, its former president Derek Fisher and Jamie Wior, during which he alleges defamation and breach of contract.
As part of the case, Hunter has detailed the events of the lockout in writing and, with it, comes the story that Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka acted as major power-brokers in getting the NBPA to accept the labor deal.
Hunter explains that he took a phonecall one evening from the LA Lakers superstar, who urged him to 'put this thing to bed' by accepting a 50-50 split of basketball related income.
“Late in the evening before the Waldorf Astoria meeting, I was already in bed for the night when my phone rang," reads Hunter's court filing, as reported by Ken Berger of CBS.
"The caller identified himself as the ‘Black Mamba.' I knew it was Kobe Bryant, a superstar player for the Los Angeles Lakers and the highest paid player in the NBA."
Bryant, meanwhile, suffered something of a setback in his bid to return from a torn Achilles tendon when he was forced to sit out of Lakers practice on Thursday.