Kobe Bryant has never been kind to Smush Parker.
So, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Parker, speaking to Dan Le Batard and Bomani Jones on ESPN’s Highly Questionable, talked about his experience playing for Kobe Bryant’s Lakers:
He told me one day at practice – I tried to talk to him outside of basketball, about football. And he looked at me in practice and was dead serious and said, ‘You can’t talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you come talk to me.’
What a ridiculous way to treat someone.
Worse, Kobe hasn’t stopped demeaning his teammates this way.
Michael Jordan famously demanded excellence from his teammates by being a jerk to them until they reached his competitive level. It mostly worked, and the players who couldn’t handle it were weeded out of Chicago. I’m sure Kobe, to some degree, was trying to do the same with Parker.
But now that Kobe can barely get on the court, his act wears thin more quickly.
Parker had no choice but to take the scorn. It was Kobe’s team, and not only did everyone know it, Kobe earned that distinction by outworking and out-producing everyone on the court.
Unless Kobe regains his form, he better cut out this junk. His teammates won’t respond to it forever.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.