Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated wrote a cover story on Kobe Bryant this week, and it’s full of fantastic Kobe stories.
In one of the best anecdotes, the director of Kobe’s upcoming Showtime documentary, Gotham Chopra, asked a bunch of teammates to describe Kobe in three words.
Steve Nash had the best answer. From SI:
“After each interview Kobe would text Chopra, eager to hear what people said. Most answered with some variation of ‘the ultimate competitor’ or ‘killer instinct.’ But when Chopra asked Steve Nash, he said something different. After thinking for a moment, Nash answered, slowly, in three beats: ‘Mother … f****** … a******.’
“Kobe thought this was awesome.”
Kobe is one of the most competitive athletes we’ve ever seen. He’s also from an era when players, for better or worse, maintained the illusion that they were sworn enemies hell-bent on beating each other at all costs. For Kobe, that competitiveness was often channeled against his own teammates. He got into feuds of varying severity with Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, and even poor Smush Parker.
Some guys, like Nash, get Kobe. Others don’t. Kobe doesn’t care either way.
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