As a Celtics fan, I hate Kobe Bryant for a lot of reasons. But today, I really despise him…. because he said a lot of things that I really agree with.
In an interview with Jackie MacMullan, Kobe talked about the Celtics, the rivalry, and Rajon Rondo.
First, the topic du jour around Boston, the notion the Celtics are better without Rondo.
“You don’t want Rondo? Send him my way,” Kobe declared. “I love everything about him. Everything. I love his attitude, I love his chippiness, his edge, his intellect, his know-it-allness. All of it. That’s what makes championship players.
“What guard have you seen at his size that will get you 18 assists, 17 boards and 20 points all in one game? That’s unheard of. I love that kid. I always make a point of talking to him during All-Star [Weekend]. He’s one of my favorites.”
The Rondo stuff has been beaten to death, and no one is changing their minds about him. I just find it interesting that a guy with Kobe’s intensity and obsession with winning would be so eager to play with Rondo.
Moving on…. in a comment that tugs at my old-school heart-strings… Kobe laments the lack of trash talking in today’s NBA:
“If there’s one Celtic that tries to talk smack to me, it will be Paul,” Kobe reported. “We’re similar in age, have been through some of the same things, so he feels like he can try. But he’s not as good at it as I am.
“I don’t talk trash often, but when I do, I go for the jugular.”
The camaraderie of today’s NBA players, fueled, in part, by their AAU alliances, is mildly disturbing to Bryant, who preferred it when the enemy was anyone who didn’t ride the team bus with you to the game.
“They don’t seem to want to talk any trash,” Kobe shrugged. “I say everything to LeBron. He says nothing back. He just laughs. There’s no banter back and forth. I guess it’s a generational thing. When I first came into the league, the trash talk was downright cutthroat.
It’s not that I’m a fan of trash talk (though I did enjoy it myself), I don’t like how chummy everyone is today. I miss the old days when guys stuck with teams, hated other players, and fought tooth-and-nail for their teammates.
This is a pretty good piece, and worth the read. There’s an interesting story involving Bill Belichick, his pre-draft workout with the Celtics, and impending retirement.