After the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, did you meet a Lakers fan that wasn't talking a little trash? That sentiment was also shared by players with the Lake Show organization, namely Kobe Bryant. According to Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area, Westbrook and Durant were so fed up with Bryant's trash talking after his team snagged Howard and Nash that the two Thunder superstars are using his words as extra motivation.
…source says the Black Mamba talked relentless smack during the Olympics that the Thunder stars weren’t going back to the Finals after the Lakers acquired Steve Nash and then added Dwight Howard right before the U.S. played Spain for the gold medal. Kobe also made a point of guarding Westbrook during practices and pumping him up, the theory being that he wanted to incite Russ to bump heads with KD over who the team’s best player is. (If you think that’s too conspiratorial to be real, you don’t know Kobe.) KD, in particular, got tired of hearing him. For what it’s worth: KD and Westbrook’s combined 69 points is the highest single-game total they’ve posted this season.
Looks like it worked. Guess we can add another two guys to Kobe's ever-growing list of young NBA players' competitive mentality that he has inspired.
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[via Pro Basketball Talk]