During his 20 years long career in the NBA, Kobe Bryant played with numerous players. When you spend that much time in the league, not everyone will become your friend and for Kobe, that list was quite short.
In fact, more often than not, Kobe didn’t get along with his teammates. Some labelled it as the Mamba Mentality, while some believed that sometimes Kobe was a tad bit too harsh on his teammates.
Who is a better example of not getting along with Bryant than former Los Angeles Lakers player Smush Parker? He played for the Los Angeles Lakers through 2005-2007 and honestly was not that bad.
However, Kobe always wanted his teammates to push harder than they have ever been pushed in their careers. Which led to him maintaining a distance from those who didn’t fit his description of a hard-working player.
A few years ago, in an interview with ESPN, Parker was asked if it was true that Kobe once refused to even talk to him off the court. Parker confirmed it was indeed true, as he said:
“One day in practice I tried to talk to Kobe outside of basketball about football. He looked at me dead serious and said ‘You can’t talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you come talk to me.'”
The beef between Kobe and Parker escalated to the point where Kobe famously said Parker should have never been in the NBA. The only reason that the Lakers allowed him to play was that they were too cheap to pay for a point guard.
The late NBA legend was many things but for a huge chunk of his career, he was not nice to his teammates. At the end of the day, Kobe did get the results that the franchise expected, albeit at the cost of a few friendships.
Once he retired from the league, the Mamba completely changed his approach to NBA players as he became much more welcoming in nature.
What is your take on this? Do you believe what Kobe did was right? Let us know your views.