After being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the 2012 trade deadline, Jordan Hill worked his way up from last man on the bench to reliable starter by the 2014-15 season. Hill also got to deal with a lot of trash talking from Kobe Bryant.
Kobe is legendary for how he constantly talks to his teammates, pushing them to their limits in order to get the best out of them.
Hill experienced that first hand, but understood what Kobe was trying to do and according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, believes that many can’t handle what Kobe dishes out:
“He’s bringing out the best out of his teammates and he wants the best out of his team,” Hill told Los Angeles News Group. “He’s a winner. You have to be prepared for it. Not a lot of people can handle it. But he deserves everything he gets.”
Hill also said that Kobe’s constant pushing helped him be more competitive on the court as well:
“His competitiveness added to my competitiveness when I was out on the court,” Hill said. “So I tried to be a better player and compete, too.”
Last season, Hill was one of the most consistent players on the Lakers, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, and assists. He was known for his energy on the court and Kobe’s trash talking helped him raise his game to a higher level.
Kobe is always very tough on his teammates and Hill is right in that not a lot of people can handle his constant criticisms. Those who do, however, usually wind up better players and many have won championships because of it.