Dime Magazine Presents: The Definitive List of Kobe Bryant Agitators

Dime Magazine Presents: The Definitive List of Kobe Bryant Agitators

PHIL JACKSON
DIME SAYS: Despite winning four championships together, Kobe and Phil have never seemed to be exactly on the same page. Phil tried to guide Kobe through his early-career growing pains, which included arguments over Kobe's role on the team and instances where Kobe responded to Phil's criticism by purposely not shooting the ball to prove a point. When Phil retired in '04, he aired Kobe out in his book The Last Season, but the two made up and reunited to win another title in '09.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
kobebruce

BRUCE BOWEN
DIME SAYS: It was like the Spurs brain trust went into a lab and created Bowen to be the ultimate Kobe agitator. Coming out of nowhere to become one of the best defensive players in the League, Bowen was dirty, sneaky, and had absolutely no interest in the offensive side of the game—meaning he could devote 100% of his energy to getting on Kobe's nerves. Although we can't think of a memorable incident where Bowen caught Kobe with his infamous "ankle breaker," that doesn't mean he didn't try on countless occasions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REGGIE MILLER
DIME SAYS: This beef didn't extend past Reggie's retirement: Miller has gone on record saying Kobe is the NBA's most complete player after Jordan, while Kobe has gone on record saying Reggie is the toughest player he's guarded in his career. But on the court, they got into it. In the closing seconds of a 2002 game the Lakers had well in hand, Kobe jacked a three in Reggie's face. Not a good idea. You see, Reggie might be skinny and awkward (well, he used to be skinny), but he'll attack like an angry kangaroo in a second. The two talked trash, Kobe threw a punch, and next thing you know they're locked up and crashing into the scorer's table. Reggie later told reporters that Kobe had "issues." Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal were bystanders for this fight, which was like a sparring session compared to what they had in store two years later.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GILBERT ARENAS
DIME SAYS: If you don't count that whole felony conviction/impending jail term thing, this is one of the beefs Kobe probably lost. It started in Dec. 2006, when Gilbert walked into Staples Center one night and dropped 60 points on Kobe and the Lakers. After the game, Kobe said, "First of all, he shot 27 free throws. We as a team shot 30. Think about that," then criticized Gilbert's shot selection. Arenas, as usual, had fun with it: He went on a streak for a few weeks where instead of saying "Hibachi!" after scoring, he said, "Quality Shots!" to mock Kobe. "Ever since Kobe said I was lucky, I say 'Quality Shots,'" Arenas said. "Maybe Kobe would say that was luck. It's luck when you score 30 or 40, but luck can't get you 50 or 60." The next time they met, Kobe got the win, but Arenas gave him another 37 points. But due to Arenas' injuries and now his legal issues, they haven't faced off since.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SMUSH PARKER
DIME SAYS: We're thinking Smush won't get an invite when Kobe gets inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The NYC playground legend was the Lakers' starting point guard for two seasons that Kobe would probably like to forget, when L.A. suffered back-to-back first-round playoff losses and Kobe had a terrible supporting cast. Smush was often the scapegoat for whatever went wrong, catching the wrath of Kobe and Phil Jackson. Now out of the League, he's taken to blasting his ex-teammate in interviews by the bodega.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CLICK HERE TO VISIT DIME MAGAZINE!

Tags: basketball, dime, dime-mag, kobe-bryant, nba
blog comments powered by Disqus