Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his teammates through the years has largely been defined through Derek Fisher.
Kobe called Fisher his favorite teammate, but Fisher once said he’d never been to Kobe’s home.
That’s Kobe, whose greatness always made him seem removed from/above the fray.
Kobe addressed a slightly different question in the foreword to Caron Butler‘s autobiography, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA.”
Kobe on Butler:
It’s very rare for me to open up to somebody like that, but I just had a connection with him. He’s one of my favorite teammates.
When that happens, it makes the season better. It doesn’t always happen. It’s not something that I need to happen, but there are certain players that I just automatically get along with. You gravitate to each other because you eye to eye on things and you get along extremely well. And Caron was one of those players.
There aren’t many like that. There’s Caron, there’s Pau, there’s D. Fish, and Ronnie Turiaf. That’s four guys in a twenty-year career.
I just found that an interesting look into the psyche of one of the greatest players of the generation.
Kobe has spoken extremely positively of Pau Gasol. The Lakers star has never hidden his fondness for Butler, Fisher and Turiaf, either. Those four have exhibited professionalism amid any difficult circumstances. That’s where I’d start with a common denominator, and it makes sense Kobe would appreciate that.
It’s also unsurprising Kobe has trusted so few teammates enough to develop a tight connection. He seems intensely private (really, intensely everything).
Kobe also seems very secure in how he operates. As he wrote, these types of close relationships aren’t necessary to him if they don’t come about naturally.