There are two benefits to Kobe Bryant retiring: We no longer have to watch him crumble to pieces on the basketball court right before our very eyes, and KOBE STORIES.
The latest tale comes from Tyronn Lue — now head coach of the Cavs — who had spent three years on the Lakers with his most notable moment being stepped over by Allen Iverson in the NBA Finals. But he’s also got a pretty great Kobe practice story. And it wasn’t for lack of effort or hustle, which Kobe loathes. It was the exact opposite. He defended Kobe a little too well.
Naturally, Kobe wanted to fight him. Here’s Lue:
We’re playing 5-on-5 one day and it was the gold team against the white team. Long story short is, it was a game point and [Bryant] drove baseline and I was at the elbow. And he drove baseline and I went down the lane and I pinned his dunk against the glass. He tried to dunk it and I blocked it against the glass. We came down, Devean George made a layup for game and Brian Shaw went, ‘Ahhh, he blocked you!’ He went crazy. Kobe wanted to fight me at first and then, second, he wanted to play one-on-one after practice.
With Kobe, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If he thought someone on the second team wasn’t playing hard enough, he would’ve wanted to fight them. But they did, and he still wanted to fight them.
Lue went on to explain that every time the Lakers acquired a new player, Kobe would insist on playing them one-on-one after every practice just to put them in their place. Which is to say, I’M KOBE AND YOU’RE NOT.
We need Kobe stories like these at least once a day for the rest of the season.