Kobe Bryant recently bashed former teammate Smush Parker and others on the 2005-06 Los Angeles Lakers roster.
Bryant was the only star on that team and the supporting cast around him was frankly, quite laughable. Bryant had to share a backcourt with Smush Parker, a player who became irrelevant after he left the Lakers. Kobe questioned why the Lakers would ever bring Parker on the team and his comments towards him were pretty harsh.
Parker got news of Kobe’s public criticism and the former Lakers point guard went on Hard 2 Guard Internet radio and responded.
“You can’t knock the man’s legacy, you can’t knock what he’s done in basketball. His work ethic is tremendous. There’s not an ounce of hate in my blood whatsoever. The guy can play basketball — you’ve seen that throughout his career.
“What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe Bryant….
“The reason I wasn’t a Laker after my second year is because I didn’t bow down to [Kobe]. I didn’t kiss his a–. I wasn’t kissing his feet. Quite frankly, towards the end of the second season, I stopped passing him the ball. I stopped giving him the ball. I started looking him off.”
There is no doubt that Parker respects Kobe Bryant as a basketball player, but it appears that the admiration stops there. Parker surely learned a lot while playing with Bryant, but there were many times when the two clashed on the court.
Bryant is a very demanding teammate and it seems like Parker took exception to that. Parker may believe the Lakers didn’t bring him back for his response to Kobe, but there were probably several other reasons that kept Parker away from Los Angeles.