Kobe Bryant has been called every name in the book – arrogant, narcissistic, ball hog, perfectionist, “not Michael Jordan,” immature, the list of negative adjectives goes on and on. And there are plenty of stories to back up the claims.
Last year, center Ian Mahinmi told Pro Basketball Talk‘s Kurt Helin that, “To me, Kobe is more arrogant [than LeBron James].”
As this interview was pre-James public relations makeup, Mahinmi is making a serious statement.
Phil Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Smush Parker are just some examples of people who have had issues with Bryant in the past.
During an interview with GQ Magazine a couple of years back, Bryant revealed that he charters a helicopter and uses it in his everyday life to avoid sitting around in LA traffic. In the same magazine article, GQ talks about how Bryant refuses to talk publicly about the community and charitable work he does, or the nice things in general. However, one in a while, the public gets a peak at nice guy Kobe.
Sports Illustrated‘s Lee Jenkins reports that, although, Sunday night witnessed a huge turn of events for the Los Angeles Lakers:
Bryant did not speak to reporters after practice Monday because Lakers point guard Steve Blake suffered an abdominal strain and could only get an appointment with an Orange County doctor in the early afternoon, so Bryant flew him there in his helicopter to avoid any irksome traffic on the 405.
Bryant had publicly reinforced the need to hire Jackson just days before the Lakers announced the shocking hiring of Mike D’Antoni. Bryant could have used the time with the media to ensure the sports world that his influence over the team’s management is as strong as ever. It seems Lakers team spirit is as strong as ever as well.