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Kobe Bryant, Ricky Rubio already started Olympics trash talk

Jan 30, 2012, 3:07 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Minneapolis Reuters

The Lakers were in Minnesota Sunday night as part of their Grammys road trip (the event that kicks them and the Clippers out of Staples Center for a couple of weeks) and that means Spanish friends and teammates Ricky Rubio and Pau Gasol were hanging out talking in the hall after the game.

Then Kobe Bryant walked past, congratulated Rubio, as caught on tape. Then they started talking (as transcribed by Hoopshype).

Kobe to Rubio and Gasol: “You talking about London?”
Gasol: “Oh yeah.”
Rubio: “You’re gonna be there?”
Kobe: “Yeah.”
Rubio: “You know you’re getting the silver medal. You know that.”
Kobe: “[expletive]. I’m taking bets! [laughs] If I win I get the keys of Barcelona.”
Rubio: “I bet what you want.”
Kobe: “I take it!”

Bring it on.

Kobe and Team USA beat Spain in the gold medal game four years ago in Beijing (118-107), with Kobe taking over late. These two teams are favored to meet again (anything else might be a disappointment) but Spain will have what should be a better team with a more mature Rubio and Marc Gasol, plus they have added Serge Ibaka.

And Spain has a little swagger after winning EuroBasket last summer. This is going to be fun.

  1. ferhatiggy - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    what a stupid conversation.

  2. loungefly74 - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    unlike the previous comment, love the banter. this shows a fun personal side. i like this. im glad rubio is transitioning well into the NBA even as to go far as trash talking with the Kobster. there is something about countrys facing off that escalate the intesity and fun level. this helps prove that point!

    go Lakers…and team USA…

  3. bearsstillsuck - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Olympic basketball hasnt been relevant since the dream team.

  4. LogicalConsideration - Jan 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    @ bearsstillsuck, oh yeah, cause basketball fans in the US are yearning to watch the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals (eyes rolling).

    Any sports fan knows that winning is far, FAR sweeter when there is an actual chance your team might lose. You appreciate it more when they win. The Dream Team was fun because it was so “superhero” like, but it’s novelty wore off. Does anyone bother watching pool play? No, because everyone figures (occasionally wrongly) that the USA is going to walk over its opponents. No fun in that. But get to the semi-finals where the other teams have enough NBA and other pro talent and it gets interesting. Trash talk like this makes it even more so.

  5. scoregasmic - Jan 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    The US team is gonna have lebron, Kobe, chris Paul, rose, durant, Dwight Howard, wade, possibly Kevin love or Chris bosh, etc…I’m pretty sure it’s good news if their biggest competition is pau, Marc, and Rubio

  6. velascochad - Jan 30, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    the keys of barcelona it is!

  7. Dan M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Is there a more perfect point guard for the Olympic team than Rondo, though? He would be a great 1.5 behind Paul, he has a ring (used to the big stage), and he’s already familiar with a team setting where he has to set up multiple all-stars.

    • asublimeday - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Rose starts over Paul and oft-average Rondo. Nothing against Paul, but Rose is on another planet when it comes to guards in the game right now.

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