We have reached a point in Kobe Bryant‘s career where any filter that existed has completely vanished. The 18-year veteran remained relatively quiet throughout his Achilles’ tendon rehabilitation as well as the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season. However, since Bryant received his monster two-year, $48.5 million extension in November of 2013, he seems to have been extremely vocal when speaking upon the current state of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Mike D’Antoni in particular.
Bryant displayed his frustration with the team’s constant losing through his facial expressions while sitting alongside his teammates and also vocally to the media. In March, subsequent to being shut down for the remainder of the season, multiple sources reported that Bryant bluntly stated that he had no intention of playing for Mike D’Antoni during the 2014-15 season. This statement was reported on the same day Bryant conducted a lengthy interview in which he took discreet shots at management regarding a few of the decisions they have made in recent time.
Furthermore, Bryant made an annual appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show last week which included a wide range of topics including Donald Sterling, D’Antoni, health status, etc. Kimmel brought up the D’Antoni resignation by reading off Magic Johnson‘s harsh tweet directed toward the former head coach, and then went on attempting to instigate Bryant by asking “were you happy to see him go?” Although Bryant did not directly answer with a yes, he did not hold back much as he responded by saying, “honestly, I didn’t care.”
The relationship between Bryant and D’Antoni must have really deteriorated quickly because he actually endorsed D’Antoni immediately after his hiring. Losing ultimately had to be the downfall of the relationship, leading to Bryant’s abrasive, but true comments. Let’s just hope Jim Buss consults with Bryant before hiring the next head coach.