Kobe Bryant's disdain for Smush Parker is no secret.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar called his former teammate "the worst" and said he "shouldn't have been in the NBA." They played together during Parker's two seasons on the Lakers, from 2005 to 2007.
As it turns out, the depths of Bryant's disdain for Parker were deeper than anyone realized. In an interview on the ESPN program "Highly Questionable" this week, Parker said Bryant explicitly told him that he would not be speaking with him at practice.
Here's what Parker said about Bryant's treatment of him:
"He told me one day at practice – I tried to talk to him outside of basketball, about football. And he looked at me in practice and was dead serious and said, ‘You can’t talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you come talk to me.'"
Bryant has made disparaging comments to teammates. This past season he apparently said he "doesn't want to talk to players on teams that are 20 games under .500." But what he did to Parker is a little extreme. They were teammates, after all, and it seems like Bryant's treatment of the young guard could have hurt the team's chemistry.
Parker has discussed Bryant before, saying he respects the future Hall of Famer's game but could not stand how he carries himself.
“What I don’t like about him is the man that he is," Parker said in 2012. "His personality. How he treats people. I don't like that side of Kobe Bryant."
Michael Jordan, whom Bryant has modeled his game and perhaps even his uber-competitive persona after, was known to engage in altercations with teammates at practice. Jordan famously fought with Steve Kerr, but the two made up and went on to win three championships together.
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