Former NBA player Smush Parker got something many within the league’s brotherhood would love: to play with the late great Kobe Bryant.
However, Parker recently sat down with Pablo Torre to break down what the experience was like during his two-season tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers; he didn’t have the time of his life, having eventually become the butt of many jokes.
Smush Parker explains his side of his feud with Kobe Bryant:
“The man never spoke to me. … I started with this man, I was his co-worker. Like we shared a cubicle side-by-side. How do you do that for two seasons and never hold a conversation? … I’m not even going to get to… pic.twitter.com/3mnazvKPoA
— Pablo Torre Finds Out (@pablofindsout) December 19, 2023
“It was an overrated [experience] because the man never spoke to me,” Parker said. “I wasn’t the 12th man on the bench. I wasn’t the call-up on the G League who was just trying to fill a roster spot. I started with this man; I was his co-worker like we shared a cubicle side-by-side. How do you do that for two seasons and never hold a conversation?”
It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Parker remembers trying to start some small talk with the Black Mamba by bringing up a football game that had been on the night before, but he was immediately shut down.
You can’t talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you talk to me,” Bryant responded to Parker’s conversation starter.
Parker revealed more details of the fractured relationship after Torre brought up the infamous interview in which Bryant was talking to Steve Nash and completely threw Parker under the bus.
“I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team. “I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown. Smush Parker was] the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on,” Bryant told the LA Times in 2012.
It was amid a stretch in Lakers history that isn’t really memorable, considering Shaquille O’Neal left in 2004, and Bryant didn’t have a formidable running mate again until 2008, when Pau Gasol arrived.
However, Parker, a Brooklyn native, wasn’t exactly the scrub Bryant painted him out to be, averaging 11.3 points, 3.2 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals while starting 162 straight games over two seasons.
Parker and Bryant never made amends and were still at odds when he passed away in 2020 in a helicopter accident alongside his daughter and seven others.
See how social media is reacting to Parker’s experience with Kobe Bryant below.
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