Since retiring from basketball in April 2016, Kobe Bryant has been really vocal about how he’s more than open to dishing out advice to the current crop of NBA players. All they need to do, Kobe has said, is give him a call, and he would be happy to help them out in whatever ways he can.
One player who has turned to Kobe early and often is Warriors star Draymond Green. Green and Kobe exchanged texts during the 2016 NBA Playoffs when the Warriors were facing a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 deficit during a series against the Thunder (Golden State would rebound to take that series by winning three straight games), and according to Green, there are other times Kobe has helped him out with his problems, too.
During a recent interview with GQ, Green talked about the time that Kobe gave him the best advice he’s ever received. Shortly after the 2016 NBA Playoffs ended with the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead of their own to the Cavaliers, Green was feeling really down about his perception throughout the league. He had been accused of kicking a couple players during the Warriors’ playoff run, and he was quickly gaining a reputation for being a dirty player. So he turned to Kobe for guidance.
"I was going through all that shit with the media and with the kicks and I was fucked up," Green said. "So I called Kobe, and said, 'This shit’s killing me, because these people are painting me to be something that I’m not, wondering, would I kick anybody on purpose? I wouldn’t kick anybody on purpose. It’s fucked up.'"
Kobe understood Green completely and helped him cope with the situation by talking to him about how most people are okay with being mediocre. Those people, Kobe said, would never be able to understand Green and his drive for greatness. So Kobe told Green that "as long as you wait for them to understand you, you’re fucked."
It was exactly what Green needed to hear. "It was the best shit I ever heard," Green told GQ. "Because it gave me an understanding of why people don’t understand me. I’m so crazy competitive. I put my competitiveness up there with anyone. How could someone understand that? It’s a different level."
Green drops all kinds of gems in his GQ interview. You can check out the entire thing here.