Kobe Bryant Talks Recruiting Kanye West For Nike Film

'He's the first person I thought of,' NBA All-Star MVP tells MTV News of tapping 'Ye for 'Black Mamba' ad.

NBA legend-in-the-making Kobe Bryant's nickname is the Black Mamba, so a movie based on that tag was probably inevitable. Bryant, Nike and director Robert Rodriguez created a short film titled "The Black Mamba" that serves as an ad for his latest signature shoe, the Nike Zoom Kobe VI. The four-time NBA All-Star MVP spoke to MTV News about the spot and getting Kanye West onboard.

"Well, it was just us talking," Bryant told us of recruiting 'Ye, during All-Star weekend. "We've known each other for quite some time, so when the idea came up to do a spot like this, he's the first person I thought of."

Besides Bryant and West, actors Bruce Willis and Danny Trejo also make appearances in the six-minute spot. Nike previewed the short film at NBA All-Star Weekend festivities on Friday night at the W Hotel in Hollywood before officially debuting it online the next day. After the film was shown at the W, West hit the stage and performed his verse from "H.A.M." (from his upcoming Watch the Throne project with Jay-Z) to a crowd that included LeBron James and Amar'e Stoudemire.

"It was incredible," Bryant said of Yeezy's performance. "It just put a cap on the whole night. We aired the spot and then brought him out to perform and it kind of just took it over the top."

Bryant and West were in the same building again on Sunday afternoon for the NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center, where Kobe went off in front of his hometown crowd for 37 points and 14 rebounds, earning him his fourth All-Star Game MVP trophy. Meanwhile, West hit the stage at halftime, closing out Rihanna's set with a performance of "All of the Lights" from his platinum My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Later that evening, the LA Lakers guard added to his trophy case as he accepted a "He Got Game" statue at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. Bryant was recently seen reminiscing about his pre-NBA years on an episode of MTV's "When I Was 17" that aired earlier this month.