Daily News: As the self-proclaimed “Kobe Stopper,” Ruben Patterson made a startling claim about the origin of his nickname Wednesday.
“Shawn Kemp really started that,” he said.
But with the power of the Internet and the perpetuating of that title in the media, those words probably will always be linked to the new Clipper, whether it was self-proclaimed or Kemp-proclaimed.
“I’m sick of it now,” Patterson said of the nickname. “It’s worldwide. I hear it everywhere I travel. The first thing people say is `Kobe Stopper.’ They don’t say Ruben Patterson. They say `Kobe Stopper.’ But I tell everyone that me and Kobe are good friends now, and he actually tried to get me to the Lakers two years ago.”
It’s not much of a stretch to say that Patterson’s welcoming of challenges, such as defending Kobe Bryant, is a big reason why the Clippers signed him this offseason. With Elton Brand out with a torn Achilles tendon, the team figures the 6-foot-5 small forward could help fill the void.
Even though Patterson shies away from his nickname, he still says he can’t wait until the Clippers face Bryant and the Lakers.
“I just love to compete against him,” he said.