Throughout his career, Kobe Bryant has earned a reputation for being one of the most mentally tough and competitive players in the NBA. He will play in conditions that other players wouldn’t dream of. Bryant’s will to win and be the best are his defining characteristics as a player.
Mike Bresnahan reports that on Thursday, during the Los Angeles Lakers practice, Bryant called his teammates out for their lack of both emotional and physical “toughness.”
Bryant told reporters, “If guys are too happy, I need to bring them back down to Earth.”
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports on Bryant’s angry rant on his teammates:
He was in an angry mood at Thursday’s practice, calling out his teammates for not being tough enough in games, The Times has learned.
It wasn’t a long rant, maybe half a minute, but he left practice in a hurry, stalking off the court toward the end of it, irritated that the first team had lost to the reserves several times. He knocked some items off a table at midcourt on his way to the locker room and did not talk to reporters who were let in after his outburst.
Bryant’s message wasn’t light. It contained expletives and hammered at the same theme. The Lakers should not be playing this poorly. Everyone needed to be stronger emotionally and physically.
The exact event that trigger the outburst is unknown, but new coach Mike D’Antoni fully supports Bryant helping him coach the team. D’Antoni told the Los Angeles Times, “I’d rather go to battle with something like that. He’s got it tuned up as hard as you can go, and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Metta World Peace always plays hard and Steve Nash is hurt. So, as the report states Bryant’s rant was directed at first team, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol most likely triggered the anger.