A while back, we mistakenly referred to then-Chicago White Sox third baseman Geoff Blum as Jewish. Within seconds, we received dozens of emails saying that wasn't true. Point is, as Jews In Sports can attest: People take this stuff seriously.
Which might have led to one of the more bizarre post-game exchanges in recent memory, last night, between Kobe Bryant and a gaggle of reporters. It started when a TV guy asked Kobe about how few Jewish players there are in sports (there are none in the NBA). Kobe's response:
"I wouldn't mind being Jewish. I wouldn't mind. Really."
Then Bryant turned the other direction, accusing the reporter of faulty research. What was the reporters' claim? That there aren't many Jewish athletes. "Not too many Jews in professional sports? Hmmm," Bryant said. "That sounds kind of weird to me. Who did your research?"
And then he came back: "I don't know if I'm converting, but if I do, you can definitely add another athlete to the pool."
We are about 85 percent sure Kobe thought they were talking about something else.
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Kobe Bryant: I Wouldn't Mind Being Jewish [Jerusalem Post]