Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Five NBA championships, 18 All Star Game appearances, one MVP award. Despite how unbelievably good Kobe is at basketball, no one has ever confused him with being a good teammate or a particularly nice guy. Although he’s currently on a Derek Jeter-like retirement tour, it’s not so much an admiration for the man himself, but rather an appreciation for the player that Kobe Bryant was.
This Tuesday, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” returns with its 227th edition (from 10:00-11:00 ET/PT on HBO) and features Kobe sitting down for a rare one-on-one interview with Andrea Kremer. Bryant talks with Kremer about life after basketball, including how he won’t be a coach or a basketball commentator once he hangs it up.
Perhaps the most revealing part of the interview is hearing what players around the NBA think of Kobe. Kremer has a long list of superlatives about Bryant -- and you can watch the teaser video below to hear which teammate had the harshest view of Bryant.
Kobe’s never had a misunderstanding about how he is perceived by his peers, and the fact that he doesn’t just laugh off the comments -- but entirely agrees with them -- is very telling and epitomizes the Black Mamba's brutally honest approach to life.
In the clip below (courtesy of HBO), he also tells a great story of giving a massive amount of shit (or in his words “motivation”) to Pau Gasol. Before they won two championships together, Bryant treated Gasol like he treated many other teammates: like a terrible friend.
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