Kobe Bryant has always been regarded as a transcendent basketball star with arrogance issues. He didn't help to change popular sentiment on the latter with his latest comments towards former teammate, Smush Parker.
Bryant called Parker “the worst” and said, “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.
These comments were part of a discussion with Carr about how his teammates now are incredibly superior to those he played with during the lean season of 2005-06.
“I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team,” Bryant said. “I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown.”
Hard 2 Guard radio (via BlogTalkRadio.com) caught up with Parker, who was understandably perplexed and somewhat peeved about these comments. He fired back, wisely choosing to knock Kobe’s character rather than his basketball skills:
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.
Basketball is a team sport. It is team-oriented. It is not an individual sport. It’s not tennis or golf, it is a team sport. When you are the star of the team, you have to make your teammates feel comfortable. You have to make them feel welcome. And he did not do that at all.
Obviously, Parker wouldn’t have had a case against Bryant if he tried to pick apart his hoop skills or resume. The guy has won five titles, an MVP award, went to countless All-Star games and more.
The former Lakers PG did shed some light on just how ridiculous the star shooting guard can be, referring to one ridiculous instance during the Hard 2 Guard interview.
Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant. He is a teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day when I go into work. I tried to talk to him about football and he tells me I can't talk to him. I need more accolades under my belt before I come and talk to him. He was dead serious.
One thing that we hear over and over concerning Kobe is just how arrogant he is and how no one likes to play with him when things aren’t going his way. Parker’s comments certainly make you believe that popular opinion is rooted in fact.
"I was devastated," Bryant said. "What's he going to do? 'Yeah, Kobe's right?' I gave him his little 30 minutes of fame again. I wish him the best of luck. Maybe he'll get back to the NBA one day and can see what it's like up close again."
Will the beef between Kobe and Smush have a negative impact on the Lakers?
This back-and-forth banter between a player at the highest level in the NBA and a guard getting ready to play another season in China is ridiculous. It’s just helping to reinforce the fact that Bryant is a terrible teammate and isn’t doing any favors for the Lakers.
Hopefully, coach Mike Brown or another member of the Lakers’ brass steps in and puts a stop to this nonsense before Bryant digs a bigger hole.