Friends come and go, but banners hang forever. Or at least that’s part of the Mamba Mentality, as Kobe Bryant is known for many many many incredible and great things, but being a good teammate (or at least an easygoing guy) is definitely not one of them.
Of course, there are exceptions, like Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher, who enjoyed Kobe’s company both on and off the court, but most of Kobe’s teammates through his successful career weren’t quite pleased with the shooting guard’s attitude.
The Black Mamba is arguably one of the fiercest competitors in NBA history, and his killer mentality and win-at-all-costs style of play earned him a lot of detractors through the years, especially on his own team.
Besides, there were even several reports that state that some big name players such as Carmelo Anthony weren’t interested in playing for the Lakers because they didn’t want to deal with Kobe's attitude.
So, let’s take a look at the 7 teammates that hated Bryant the most, as well as the reasons why they didn’t get along.
7. Chris Mihm
You won’t remember Mihm as a former Laker legend or even a determinant player, and part of that is because Kobe practically kicked him off from the team. Of course, Mihm wasn’t an exceptional talent, but Bryant’s constant trash talking really made the Center hate his guts.
When asked about his 2005-2006 campaign, Kobe simply replied: "What was I supposed to do, pass the ball to Chris Mihm? Chris Mihm?" Stating that he was so pleased when Pau Gasol arrived to the team, as he finally had a teammate that could actually play.
6. Andrew Bynum
Unlike Mihm, Bynum was a talented NBA player, but that didn’t stop Kobe from constantly getting in his face. Of course, Andrew’s character wasn’t precisely calmed, and he wasn’t willing to take any of Bryant’s comments gently.
In fact, Bynum blames Kobe for stalling his development, stating that he’d become a star if it wasn’t for Bryant and his ball-hogging and that he would’ve taken the next step. When Kobe was asked about these comments, he only replied saying that it was only normal to sacrifice some personal glory if you want to be next to him. Wow.
5. Kwame Brown
Brown was yet another Kobe victim, as the shooting guard told the media a very embarrassing story about the time the Lakers were playing the Pistons, and Kobe passed the ball to a wide open Kwame, but the rock slipped through his hands just underneath the basket.
During a timeout, Kwame reportedly begged Kobe not to pass the ball to him because he was “too scared” to play against Wallace and Billups, and the shooting guard was extremely happy when they let him go to Memphis to bring Pau, stating that “he wouldn’t have to worry about things like that anymore."
4. Karl Malone
Malone was one of the greatest players to ever lace them up and one of the most dominant players in the NBA. Nevertheless, he couldn’t win a ring alongside Stockton, so he decided to team up with Shaq, Gary Payton and Kobe on the Lakers and create the fab four.
Needless to say, the experiment didn’t work out and the Mailman wound up retiring without a ring, and according to most people, one of the reasons that stopped that team from winning the NBA championship was his relationship with Kobe, as the shooting guard stated that Malone was trying to seduce his wife, completely messing with the chemistry between the two and the team in general.
3. Smush Parker
Parker was also a part of that 2005-06 Lakers team where Kobe shined the most despite not having a great supporting cast, averaging 35.4 points, 5.3 board, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
According to Kobe, Parker was simply “the worst”, stating that the only reason the point guard was even a part of the team is because they didn’t have any money to sign a real point guard. On top of that, he reportedly joked with Nash saying “Yeah, you won the MVP, but I was playing with Smush Parker”. That’s straight savagery, Kobe.
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2. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is without any kind of doubt the most dominant center in NBA history, and his physical and intimidating presence both on and off the court really helped the Lakers establish a legacy with him playing alongside the Mamba.
However, his loudness, partying and just clownish nature made him have a lot of problems with Bryant, that constantly pointed out Shaq’s attitude as if he didn’t want to win enough. On top of that, jealousy between the two made things even worse, as Shaq wound up leaving the Lakers despite having a lot left in the tank. Just imagine if the two would’ve stuck together for a while longer, the sky would’ve been the limit.
1. Dwight Howard
Howard arrived at the Staples Center with high praise, hoping that the former Orlando Magic center would follow iin Shaq’s footsteps and help Kobe lead the Lakers back to the NBA elite, but that experiment was a complete disaster from the very first day.
Like Shaq, Howard was constantly fooling around and he had a tendency to disappear during key stretches of the game, and you just know Kobe wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior, constantly pointing out his teammate’s attitude and calling him a complete softie. We have to take Kobe’s side on this one though.