As he’s gotten older, Kobe has become less and less likely to hold his tongue on certain matters. Especially his feelings towards former teammates, as we’ve found out. Namely, Smush Parker.
But some of this stuff seems out of line, even for Kobe. Publicly calling guys out like this doesn’t paint Kobe in the best light.
But then again, he probably doesn’t care. Here’s some of Kobe’s vitriol aimed at former teammates:
“I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team,’ Bryant said before Wednesday’s 93-75 exhibition loss to Portland. ‘I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown.’ Bryant was referring to 2005-06 when the Lakers’ roster included Brian Cook, Stanislav Medvedenko, Devean George and Parker, Mihm and Brown. Bryant continued, taking aim at his favorite whipping boy, Parker, calling him ‘the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.’”
I’m not sure where all of that came from, but Smush had a response as well once word got back to him:
“I’m lost for words. It makes me blush. For my name to still come out of that man’s mouth? It makes me blush,” Parker said. “The two years in LA were a blessing to me,” he said. “People who ask me how it was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. People ask me how it was playing with Kobe Bryant. I said in 2008 that it was an overrated experience.” Though Parker termed playing with Kobe “overrated,” he respects the five-time champion’s game. He just doesn’t like his personality. “You can’t knock the man’s legacy, you can’t knock what he’s done in basketball. His work ethic is tremendous. There’s not an ounce of hate in my blood whatsoever. The guy can play basketball — you’ve seen that throughout his career. What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe Bryant.”
“I had a workout with the Lakers, beat all the guards out for the starting position, earned a spot on the team. Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.” Smush says the talking they did was strictly on the court. “We’re teammates, we talk basketball on the court. [Our talks were] about getting him the ball pretty much.”
[Dap to SLAM]