Kobe Bryant’s verbal attack Wednesday on former Lakers point guard Smush Parker’s ability, or lack thereof, inspired a shot or two in return from Parker during a 35-minute interview on a New York radio station Thursday.
Bryant said Parker was “the worst (while serving as the Lakers’ starting point guard during the 2005-06 season). He shouldn’t have even been in the NBA. We were too cheap to afford a real point guard. So, we let him walk on.”
Parker, who has played in China and the Dominican Republic in recent seasons, responded by praising Bryant’s ability, but not his humanity. Parker said he became so unhappy while playing with Bryant that he stopped passing him the ball.
“The guy can play basketball,” Parker said. “You’ve seen that throughout his career. What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe Bryant.”
Parker also spoke of a player’s-only dinner in which then-coach Phil Jackson gave a credit card to Lamar Odom in order to pay for the meal. Parker said all the players sat at one table except for Bryant, who sat alone at another table.
Bryant laughed when relayed Parker’s comments.
“I gave him his 30 minutes of fame,” Bryant said, trying to contain his laughter. “It’s all good. I wish him the best of luck. He’s playing in China, right? I wish him the best of luck. Maybe he’ll get back to the NBA one day and see what it’s like up close again.”
If he does, and that’s a long shot, you can bet it won’t be with any team Bryant is on.