Kobe Bryant Talks About Making A Teammate Cry, “Friends can come & go, banners hang forever”
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During yesterday’s annual BET Experience event at the Nokia Theater in LA, ESPN’s Jamele Hill hosted the BETX Genius Talks and spoke to an “unplugged” Kobe Bryant about Larry Nance Jr calling him a “rapist,” his future and “being an a$$hole.”
As for Nance’s old tweets, Bryant said he sent him a nice message but still found a way to offend him by addressing him as “Mr Bryant” and “sir.”
“I was like what the f*ck, huh, what!”
But Mr. Bryant said it was all water under the bridge, so maybe there’s a chance the two can be friends – well, as much of a friend as you can be with Bryant.
“I meant that friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.” Bryant said when asked about his “being a great friend is something I will never be” comment in GQ Magazine earlier in the year.
“But when you grow up, I loved the game so much. It wasn’t on purpose to be a bad friend or not to be as good of a friend. It takes time to do that. It takes a lot of energy to do that.
“Consciously, all my energy was focused on one thing. It’s like, friends, I have friends that have known me since I was 11. They know that that’s how I am. But nine times out of 10, that’s how they are too. Because they’re as driven at what they do as what I am. It works out.”
Bryant was then asked what’s the worst thing he’s ever said to a teammate.
“Oh, Jesus, let me think,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not sure if the fact that I’m thinking about the worst things that I’ve said really means that I haven’t said that many, or maybe I’ve said too many. I’m scrolling through them [in my mind]. I’m like on iPod shuffle.
“There are certain players that I’ve made cry,” Bryant said. “If I can make you cry by being sarcastic, then I really don’t want to play with you in the playoffs if that’s making you cry.
“But let me see. There was one teammate that was just so bad. He was so bad. It wasn’t Kwame [Brown]. Kwame wasn’t actually that bad. I tease Kwame. It wasn’t Smush [Parker]. It was a player that you guys won’t even remember if I said who his name was. I can’t even pronounce his name. It was some European kid.
“But he was really, really bad. I said, ‘Dude, you might want to reconsider what your life purpose is. Maybe it’s not this.’ It came out that way. I was like, maybe 20-something years old, I don’t know, really young.
As for retiring after next season.
“At the end of the season, if I feel like doing it again, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. [But] I won’t make a big deal about it.”
“It might be. You gotta retire sometime. Im not Benjamin Button, man,” Kobe said. #BETtalks
— janis carr (@janiscarr) June 28, 2015
You can read more of what Kobe had to say over Baxter Holmes post on ESPN.com.