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Former Laker says Kobe Bryant was one of the best teammates he’s had

Aug 27, 2014, 11:09 AM EST

Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has a reputation as one of the game’s toughest competitors, and someone who values winning above all else — including maintaining strong interpersonal relationships with his teammates.

Bryant himself feeds into this from time to time, most recently discussing it with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard.

“If you go back and look at the guys I’ve gotten along with, they’re all cut from the same cloth,” Bryant said. “All of them. Then you look at the guys I didn’t get along with, or might have had some ups and downs with and they’re not. It’s a consistent thing…and I’m fine with that. It’s okay.”

But all of his teammates, past and present, don’t necessarily see it.

Darius Morris, a lesser contributor who spent two seasons in Los Angeles, couldn’t have been more complimentary when talking up Bryant as a teammate in a recent Instagram post.

“Happy bday to big bro @kobebryant I always get the question how was Kobe as a teammate? Honestly I can say he was one of the best I had on and off the court despite the perceived notions maybe because he had already matured and already made it clear he is one of the best to ever play the game. He schooled me on the business and lifestyle of the NBA. Although a couple jokes here and there He was never negative or talked down to anybody and I was there when went thru some tough times but he went out of his way to be helpful towards me, push me, and to think big picture in life and to have the mental toughness to remain focus and never be satisfied What more could you want from a teammate? In my opinion,he isn’t selfish he just put his heart and soul into the game and sometimes it’s hard to trust that others feel the same way as about the game. Unfair things I hear about him far from the truth but that’s life. With that being said hopefully don’t have to answer that question for awhile lol”

Bryant’s style undoubtedly isn’t for everyone; just ask Dwight Howard about that. But for younger players coming in who are willing to put in the work, it appears that Bryant is more than happy to take on a mentorship role in order to get the most out of his teammates.

[via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times]

  1. therealhtj - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Translation: “Can a brutha at least get a camp invite?”

    • bushido49ers - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      WORD! LOL

  2. succulentnipples - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Big John Football approves of Kobe Bryant.

    • tigershark0052 - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Quit ducking john’s nipples

  3. teambringitstrong - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    In the past I was a neighbor of Bryant’s in the Montecito subdivision of Newport Coast. I have to say those that have a problem with the man have never spent any appreciable time with him.
    We all have people that we don’t get along with but that doesn’t make us or them bad people.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      He’s very popular here in Newport for his work in the community

    • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Well except for his parents and his wife and his coaches and his teammates. But other than that – yeah – no one has ever had a problem with him.

      • reesesteel23 - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        So right lol

      • mackcarrington - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        Apparently you have a problem with him. We’re all fans of sports to some degree. But your fandom crosses the line of rationality. You have an irrational love of LeBron and an irrational hatred of Kobe.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        Nah, it’s not irrational. Kobe is a despicable human being and a self professed “a-hole” – a label he is proud of. One of Kobe’s SI covers is a mug shot. That makes sense.

      • av416 - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        So because Kobes mom tried to sell HIS memorabilia he should be the one blamed Anti???? I’m hoping you just hate Kobe Bryant that much and are not that stupid of an individual. If you know anything about the situation Kobe is apparently devastated his mom did this and that he is being forced into this action. I get that you’d give you left nut to have a conversation with LBJ…even though you’d pull a Jim from American Pie, but stop trolling on a mans family.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        Yes, because Kobe would rather buy Ferraris than take care of his own mother. That’s Kobe the person – like Smush said, and as everyone knows, Kobe is a bad person who treats people like garbage.

        I have no interest in ever meeting LeBron James. I don’t own LeBron shoes or jerseys or posters. I just love his game. I think it’s pure basketball truth.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        @Anti- Kobe did buy his mom a house. She wanted a bigger one.
        And he really doesn’t have to “take care of her”. Joe did a good job of providing for his family.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        A bigger one for 400k? My house costs more than that. Kobe doesn’t have a good relationship with his parents because of Vanessa. He’d rather buy himself a car than be generous to his mother.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        @Anti:
        I think her plan was to sell the smaller house and take the cash from that, together with whatever proceeds she got fro the planned auction, to purchase a larger house. And I don’t dispute the friction that Vanessa caused the family. But I think they had put that behind them quite a while ago.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 28, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        you live in your mom’s basement. old man. and the way you talk…have no girlfriend/wife and kids, anti. we all know this, ya liar.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 28, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        people who get told by strangers that they’re the handsomest man they’ve ever seen do not end up living in their mother’s basement. how often have you been asked if you’re a model, loungefly?

        if you want to feel even worse about yourself then come over to my house.

  4. asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    But the posters on this website said that Kobe is a narcissistic a-hole that is a terrible teammate! How could they be wrong?

    • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      They’re not wrong. Morris even says so, actually:

      “In my opinion,he isn’t selfish he just put his heart and soul into the game and sometimes it’s hard to trust that others feel the same way”

      So basically Morris admits that, yeah, he’s still a narcissistic a-hole.

      Smush was right – if you brownnose Kobe like Morris (who called Kobe the greatest when he was drafted by the Lakers) then maybe Mamba will show you some love. If not, he’ll just treat you like trash.

      • bhunter1995 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Brown nosing and giving respect are two different things. Morris simply showed respect to a legend of the game, if I were a college kid getting drafted to a team with an all time great that I grew up watching and rooting for I would show respect to the man. Smush Parker didn’t get along with Kobe because Smush was/is an arrogant person who believes that he is on par with Kobe when clearly he isn’t. I doubt Kobe walks around Staples center, greeting every person he sees with “Hey I’m better than you, five rings, look at em and cry” he knows that he is an all time great and if a rookie shows him respect and has a good work ethic/desire to learn then Kobe will be a helpful mentor, but if they come into the league with the attitude that they’re the man and that they will dominate and that Kobe’s advice isn’t worth listening to then Kobe wont give that player the time of day.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        Oh so Smush is the arrogant person now… riiiiiiiiight.

        Kobe didn’t like him because Smush didn’t appreciate Kobe’s ball hogging all the time and Smush let him know about it. I give Smush props for that because I would’ve done the same thing.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Smush Parker didn’t like Kobe because he thought he should have the ball in his hands more so that he could launch more ill-advised three pointers early in the shot clock, or run wildly towards the basket and throw the ball up in hopes of it landing somewhere near the hoop.

    • billtetley53 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      1 former teammate that hero worships kobe, does not make everyone else wrong.

      BTW, where is your cohort musician at? I have some new material I want to try on him.

      Better yet, where is the ever idiotic kb2408 at?

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        “Better yet, where is the ever idiotic kb2408 at?”

        idk, you’re the one who stalks him.

  5. antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    First thing I thought when I saw this, “I bet this dude is from Los Angeles.”

    Check google… yep. Born and raised. Nobody is going to buy this sugarcoating.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      What does that have to do with anything? Are you from Akron? You “brownnose” LeBron far more than Morris ever has for Kobe.

      • moneyz2 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Slammed !!!!…LOL, don’t treat the troll that way…

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Hey ya’ll…

        Uh, quit yer squabbling bout Kobe and LBJ…

        MJ is the GOAT

        Wanna know why Kobe is a mean, narcissistic a hole? Because the man he patterned his game on, MJ was a mean, narcissistic a hole… so what?

        We don’t watch these guys to see if they’re nice… We watch them to see them win.

        Kobe 2 finals losses

        LBJ 3 finals losses

        MJ never lost an NBA Finals

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        MJ also pulled off the Charlie Chaplin/Adolf Hitler mustache, that’s worth style points, right?

      • divan22 - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        Finals losses: LeBron 3, MJ 0

        1st round losses: MJ 3, LeBron 0

        What’s worse? Losing in the Finals or in the FIRST ROUND?

        (And THAT is why the “Finals record” argument is pure garbage)

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Morris did it in person. He polished that knob good apparently. But Morris is from LA – so obviously he’d have an interest in defending Kobe because of that bias. I defend LeBron and I’ve never been to Ohio. My appreciation for him is genuine.

      • blogsk3tball - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        So Anti, you are genuine because you have never been to even the home state of the guy you worship, let alone know him as a person.

        Yet Morris talks about a guy he has actually met and played with and his opinion is “brownnosing”.

        Hmmmmm…. Seems Legit

  6. reesesteel23 - Aug 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Whoa! Dude must have played with some real McAzzholes during his time.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    If you want to win, I’m sure he’s at the top of the list.

  8. themars211 - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    haters gonna hate…right Anti? lol

  9. billtetley53 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Pay no mind to Monetti. That is Vanessa Bryant just defending her man.

  10. divan22 - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Kobe’s selfishness helped drive away Shaq and Dwight Howard.

    Kobe’s selfishness caused Phil Jackson to tell the Lakers that they MUST trade him.

    Kobe’s selfishness is the reason why no superstar on earth wants to play with him anymore.

    But wait, Darius Morris liked him!!! All is forgiven!!!

    #KOBESYSTEM

    • themars211 - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      #KOBESYSTEM #5RINGS……. I hate to come across like a Kobe apologist but the hate for the dude is crazy. Its mind boggling how this man accomplished so much in his career and all he seems to generate is hate. I’m not really a Lebron fan but I appreciate his skill and talent. What happened to game recognize game?

      • loungefly74 - Aug 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        because fools like anti and bil are dopes who rather sit around their mom’s basement trolling hate. some people are like that…just fueled by being angry. my brother is like that and is a jerk for it. burns every bridge. its a waste of energy. seriously, how does someone who posts maybe…10-30 times a day have the time…and energy? and none of it is constructive. people who spend their time to things like that…man, they got real-world issues.

      • rumar1989 - Sep 30, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Themars211, The ones that feel that way, they’re just insecure of him, when that happens, Kobe is so great, that other players that are people’s favorite, feels threaten by Kobe. Kobe is a hardnose leader, and it just adds to his greatness, it’s his way of pushing you to be at your best.

    • rumar1989 - Sep 30, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      Divan22, It was time to trade Shaq, he was getting toe injuries, and that just didn’t fit the future.
      Plus it all worked out for the best, Kobe was the right guy to build around, Shaq wasn’t plus Kobe won without Shaq twice. It wasn’t selfishness Divan22, it was just time to move Shaq.
      It wasn’t selfishness, for Phil during the 99-00 season, requested that trade, but West didn’t bother. But after 03-04, Dr. Buss decided not to renew Phil’s contract, and many felt that
      Kobe was behind that, though no one can prove it. And you’re wrong when you say that no one wants to play with him anymore, Not true because Kobe is respected around the league, and the Lakers are respected as a historical franchise. So you need to keep those in mind, As far as Dwight goes, he just didn’t fit in, he had a back injury and shoulder that he struggled with, he wasn’t the Dwight that we were counting on. Plus Divan22, he wasn’t Laker material anyway, good thing he left. He obviously wanted his own team, didn’t want to play second fiddle.

  11. ocgunslinger - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    PBT should limit to one post per article. Tired of some just posting their “Opinion” and all it is about is complaining about things. For example this “Anti” guy. Contributes NOTHING!

  12. billtetley53 - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    If it wasnt for everybody being able to have thier “opinions”.

    All lakers articles we kobe nuthugging by you hero worshipping sycophants.
    Also, there would be 1/2 as many comments and less money made do to lack of site hits for the stories.

    If you dont like a poster , or what they have to say, simply skip over the comment.
    Its not rocket surgery.

    • themars211 - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      Yeah what he said….rocket surgery and all lol.

  13. rumar1989 - Sep 30, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Antistratfordian, Smush Parker is not even in the league anymore. He means little to Kobe,
    you said that you would’ve done the same thing, if Smush called him out. Well that’s why Kobe
    is a legend, and Smush is not. If you ask Kobe about Smush, you can always expect negativity,
    Mamba is obviously not fond with Smush.

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