Once in a while, Kobe Bryant lets his ego get the best of him. All the recent giddiness from the summer moves by the Los Angeles Lakers and all the respect he’s been getting in interviews by teammates and from the media led him to think it’s great to humiliate a player, a former teammate, in Smush Parker.
No one will remember Smush Parker in a few years, despite the memorable name. After six seasons in the NBA, the point guard who went undrafted in 2002 is now changing teams at quite a spectacular rate in Europe and all over the world to be honest. Kobe Bryant? He’s beginning his 17th season in the NBA, hoping to win his sixth NBA title ring. ‘Nough said, I think.
But Kobe Bryant has been really talkative of late. Facebook has been his favorite outlet of emotions and thoughts, but it’s not just there. The Lakers are once again the most interesting team to follow this NBA season, and Bryant, no longer the best player in the NBA, is getting most of the attention.
Maybe he was trying to show how different things are now than in the mid-2000’s, in the post-Shaq era. Whatever his intentions, there’s simply nothing respectable about naming a former player who actually balled next to Bryant with the Lakers and start referring to him as the worst basketball player, worst NBA player and such.
During the two seasons Parker played with the Lakers (2005-2007) Bryant was probably at his individual best, scoring and shooting more than he ever was. He felt there’s no one around him to help the Lakers succeed, so he simply disregarded everyone and everything around him and tried to do everything by himself. Parker was one of the guys he vented it all out on, shouting at him during timeouts and maybe in a worse way behind the scenes.
Some say that Bryant’s disliking of Parker came because he never bowed down to the reigning king of the Lakers. Parker averaged over 11 points per game during his two years in LA. That was probably the worst Lakers team in over a decade, until Pau Gasol came along. Kobe Bryant wanted to be traded. Lakers fan were booing him at every home game. Seems a galaxy, light years away.
Bryant feels confident now, two NBA titles later, with a good and bright chance of another one. For some reason, he thinks it’s OK for him to bad mouth other players for no reason at all, and actually get the respect for “telling it like it is” while all he’s doing is showing what might be a big problem for the Lakers this season if things don’t go so well – his huge ego.