Even if Chris Kaman exaggerates when using the words love and hate when he refers to Kobe Bryant, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out he won’t be growing too fond of his new Los Angeles Lakers teammate despite suddenly wearing the same jersey.
Here’s what Kaman, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers eight seasons, getting a chance to face off with Bryant four-five times a year, had to say about suddenly being on the same team with Bryant.
I always hated him. When you play against a guy like him, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, you don’t like them because they’re so competitive. I respect that, but I don’t like playing against them. But when you’re on their team, it’s a whole different story. You love the people. They’re good guys. Kobe, he’s just been working hard trying to get himself ready. He comes to practice and he works his butt off. I respect that as well. I’m excited for him to play. I’m hoping sooner than later.
So is this a love story all of a sudden? You can check out Bryant’s track record and see that being his teammate doesn’t mean great friendships and Hollywood love story. There’s probably great respect and awe for what Bryant does. But love? Some players don’t generate that feeling towards them among others. They’re too big to be looked at that personally, and Bryant’s competitiveness is too consuming to allow him to let friendships get in the way.
When Kaman becomes part of the defensive problem the Lakers are going to have, and Bryant goes into the mode which makes him ignore everyone else on offense while dropping hints at who is actually the one who’s at fault for the Lakers doing this badly (and they’ll be doing pretty bad this season), there’s a good chance Kaman won’t be feeling so much love towards him all of a sudden.