Antawn Jamison Calls Kobe ‘Most Competitive’ Player He’s Played With

USA TODAY Sports-Archive

Back in 2012, Antawn Jamison signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to win the championship that eluded him throughout his entire NBA career. The Lakers brought in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to play alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, but this team filled with stars failed to live up to expectations.

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Even though Jamison only played one season with the Lakers with Kobe, Bryant’s incredible work ethic and relentless drive made a considerable impression on the veteran forward. Jamison made an appearance on The Jim Rome Show this week and said the following about his former teammate:

“Whatever it has to do about winning, that’s Kobe Bryant,” Jamison told The Jim Rome Show. “I’ve never seen a competitor who was more competitive than what Kobe did and what he brought to the table. The high tolerance he had for pain, you understand why he’s where he’s at. But he’s the most competitive guy I’ve played with played against and it was definitely a privilege to play with him for a year.”

Jamison played 16 seasons in the NBA with six different teams, but Kobe was the one player that left the lasting impression. An interesting statement from someone that witnessed first-hand battling multiple injuries while never really being on the same page with head coach Mike D’Antoni or Dwight.

Jamison also talked about the 2012-13 NBA season in Los Angeles and the awkward relationship between Kobe and Dwight, via The Jim Rome Show:

“And to be honest, he [Dwight] and Kobe didn’t see eye to eye. So it was just the coaching staff seeing him as a certain player and the style of play he couldn’t do because of his injury. When you’re playing with Kobe, it’s a certain criteria you have to bring to the table, and you know Dwight played hard when he was on the court, but off the court, personalities were just totally different. Kobe was one way, non-stop, Dwight liked to have a good time and stuff like that and the personalities just didn’t mix. I think if he was maybe healthy, maybe it would have worked a little bit better, but it just never did.”

Jamison’s only season with the Lakers resulted in disaster. Kobe eventually went down with the a career-threatening Achilles injury ultimately ending the team’s chances of competing in the postseason. Dwight left in free agency after the season and the next year resulted in only 27 wins for the Lakers.

Despite all that negatively from the disastrous season two years ago, Jamison was still amazed by what he saw from Kobe. Calling Bryant the “most competitive” of any player that he played with or against is a strong statement from a player with 16 years of experience in the league.

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