The Los Angeles Lakers picked up their seventh win of the season with an overtime thriller against the San Antonio Spurs. Most of the pre-game chatter revolved around Kobe Bryant chasing Michael Jordan the NBA’s all-time scoring list and his trash-talking directed at teammates from Thursday.
Cameras caught Bryant calling out his team’s performance while the starters took on the second unit during a scrimmage. Despite the media uproar, Bryant himself thought the comments were nothing out of the ordinary and mentioned how trash talking is no longer the same, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe finished to @IzzyESPN: "Trash talking has become a lost art, I think."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 13, 2014
Throughout his 19 year career, Bryant has earned the reputation of being one of the hardest working players that demands the best from his teammates. Before Friday’s game, the Lakers came in losing 17 out of 22 games and needed something to energize them towards more wins.
The Lakers responded with an impressive win as the team got contributions throughout their roster. With plenty of attention on Bryant, other players were given the chance to score as Bryant became more of a facilitator as the game transpired. Nick Young led the team in scoring with 29 points, including the game winning three-pointer in overtime.
As for the trash talking itself, Bryant came into the league going up against Jordan and Gary Payton, players commonly referred to as great trash talkers. He learned not only how to get under people’s skins, but also to push others to be their best.[divide]
Lakers Practice: Kobe Bryant’s Trash-Talking And Intensity