Woman's 'Awkward' Response to Hibachi Chef's Kobe Bryant Comment Goes Viral

One woman's "awkward" response to a hibachi chef's Kobe Bryant reference has gone viral.

A video of the interaction was posted to TikTok on Sunday by @bankrollll704, who wrote: "When you go out to eat just be chill." So far, the post has amassed more than 28 million views and over 4 million likes, reinforcing Bryant's impact on basketball and pop culture at large.

The video opens with the hibachi chef making fried rice.

"Watch this, my bro," he said to the camera before grabbing his salt shaker. Without looking, the chef manages to toss the shaker into a bin of condiments, where it lands perfectly upright.

"Kobe," he said. "One time for the Black Mamba, man. RIP."

Those seated at the table laughed and continued talking to their respective parties. The woman seated beside @bankrollll704, however, had a different reaction.

"You gotta bring the Black man into this?" she asked.

The chef asked the woman to repeat herself, and she again asked, "You gotta bring the Black man into this?"

"Black man, what?" the chef asked.

Eventually, the TikToker explained to the woman that "Black Mamba" was Bryant's nickname.

According to CNN, Bryant named himself "Black Mamba" in 2003 after he was charged with sexual assault. Though the charges were eventually dropped, his "reputation was badly tainted," said the network.

So, to "cope with the backlash," he created "Black Mamba," his "alter ego."

"The name [Kobe Bryant] just evokes such a negative emotion," Bryant told The New Yorker in 2014. "I said, 'If I create this alter ego, so now when I play this is what's coming out of your mouth, it separates the personal stuff, right?' You're not watching David Banner—you're watching the Hulk."

In addition to not knowing that Bryant's nickname was "Black Mamba," the woman in @bankrollll704's video didn't appear to understand why the chef had brought up Bryant's name in the first place. So, she told the chef to "leave him alone."

"No, no, no," he said. "When you make a shot, you say, 'Kobe,' because that's for him," he explained.

The LA Times explained it this way: "It usually happens during a pickup basketball game. A player plants his feet, jumps and shoots with a yell of 'Kobe!'—partly a joke, but also a plea to guide the ball into the hoop with the skill of the late Lakers great Kobe Bryant."

Shouting "Kobe" before taking a shot has become a common practice among professional athletes and non-professional athletes alike, as evidenced by @bankrollll704's video.

"Saying 'Kobe' has been a thing for at least 20 years, even my unathletic self knows this," wrote TikTok user Hey Guise.

"People use to do it in school. [They'd] crumple a [piece of] paper and throw it in the garbage and when they [got] it in [they'd] say, 'Kobe,'" commented AK.

"My son and I chant Kobe before every shot! She's trippin! This guy's the real MVP!" exclaimed Jason Tierney.

Hibachi
One woman’s “awkward” response to a hibachi chef’s Kobe Bryant reference has gone viral. The chef had to explain to the woman what Bryant's famous "Black Mamba" nickname meant. Suphansa Subruayying/istock