SH Blog: Smush Parker fires back at Kobe, Bryant says “I gave him his 30 minutes of fame”

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Perhaps feeling a bit moody about having to miss a preseason game due to a minor shoulder issue, Kobe Bryant made headlines by insulting the likes of Smush Parker and Kwame Brown to the max a couple of nights ago. So naturally, Parker, who is currently in China, responded to all the negativity in detail and recalled his unpleasant experiences with the personality of Bryant. See what was said from both sides, along with news around the league from Friday:

  • Smush Parker explained the problem he had with Kobe Bryant in detail, from Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports: “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. Basketball is a team sport. It is team-oriented. It is not an individual sport. It’s not tennis or golf, it is a team sport. When you are the star of the team, you have to make your teammates feel comfortable. You have to make them feel welcome. And he did not do that at all.”…“I had a workout with the Lakers, beat all the guards out for the starting position, earned a spot on the team. Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.”…“On road trips, he traveled with his security guards. Those were the guys he talked to. On the team plane, he sat in the back of the plane by himself.”
  • Parker went into further detail, claiming he lost his job as a Laker because of his relationship with Bryant: “The reason I wasn’t a Laker after my second year is because I didn’t bow down to [Kobe]. I didn’t kiss his a–. I wasn’t kissing his feet. Quite frankly, towards the end of the second season, I stopped passing him the ball. I stopped giving him the ball. I started looking him off.”…“The triangle is a team-oriented offense. If the triangle is run to perfection, everybody on the court can score an easy 15 points a game. “Kobe Bryant says I’m the worst point guard, that I should have never made it into the NBA — he just frowns at the thought of me playing in the back court with him. Like Jay-Z says, people lie, numbers don’t. Just go to the stats. “If I don’t deserve to play in the NBA, why am I third on all the stat sheets on the Lakers team those years? I’m top three in all the categories.”
Kobe Bryant amused Smush Parker fired back: "There's really nothing else to say. I said what I had to say."
@MarkGMedina
Mark Medina
Bryant also joked that he's "devastated" Smush Parker didn't pass him the ball enough
@MarkGMedina
Mark Medina
Kobe on Smush: "I gave him his 30 minutes of fame."
@MarkGMedina
Mark Medina
Kobe's lasting message to Smush: "I wish him the best of luck. He's in China, right?"
@MarkGMedina
Mark Medina
  • Bryant also made sure he said everything he wanted to say about Kwame Brown, calling him a great defender but offensively challenged, from Medina of Los Angeles Times: “I don’t know how he convinced Philadelphia to cough up $7 million a year,” said Bryant, slightly inflating Brown’s salary. “They want to lock us out, but they’ll pay him $7 million.” Another reporter relayed to Bryant that Brown said last year he taught former Lakers center Andrew Bynum ”everything he knows.”"You know what, he may have showed Andrew a couple of things though, especially on screen-and-roll coverages and one-on-one defense. Offensively? No way,” Bryant said. “Kwame, he’s a great defensive player. He’s one of the best defensive big men I’ve ever seen. But in terms of offense, he was challenged.” Another reporter sarcastically gave Brown credit for at least stepping foot on the court even if his mind wasn’t always there. ”He was present,” Bryant said with a smirk. “He was there.” ”So it was like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s'?” another reporter asked. Bryant laughed. “Exactly,” he said.”
  • Andre Iguodala explained why he was frustrated in Philadelphia, from Matt Moore of CBS Sports: “And on the team I was on,” Iguodala continued, “I lead the team in assists. So I was put in the position to be a facilitator. But it wasn’t put out there like I was a facilitator. When we lost games, it would be that I didn’t score enough. But when we’re winning and the ball’s moving, it’s flowing, ‘Andre’s a great facilitator.’ ”So my whole thing is just go out there and do what I do. Try to get the most out of my teammates. Help them improve as players and as people. Make the most of the stuation and enjoy it.” The resentment of his situation over the past several seasons isn’t exactly buried deep beneath the surface. ”I haven’t really enjoyed basketball a whole lot the last couple of years,” Iguodala said. “Last year was a big year for us, but it was just draining for the criticism to be there every single day.”
  • If Iguodala was unhappy, Doug Collins apparently had no idea about it. Dei Lynam of CSN Philly has the story: “When asked about Iguodala’s comments, Collins took the high road. “My feeling is I had a wonderful two years with ‘Dre,” Collins said. “I look back and I think he made me a better coach. “The thing I feel great about is in the two years we were together, before I took the job I thought long and hard to talk to Jerry Colangelo and Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) about having ‘Dre on the world championship team, and what I thought he would bring to that team. “Our first year, we were plus-14 wins and he was second-team All-Defense. Our next year, we go to the seventh game of the conference semifinals, and he makes the All-Star team and wins a gold medal. So I feel great about our time together.”
  • Dirk Nowitzki went through practice without issue, but surgery on his knee remains a possibility, from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “”I really don’t know why the swelling keeps coming back,” Nowitzki said Friday. “I can’t really finger-point it. Maybe there’s something floating in there that shouldn’t be floating in there. We’ll only know that for sure if we do a scope, but as for now, we haven’t. I’m just going to keep working this weekend and see how the knee responds.”… ”Probably the sooner, the better if we decide [surgery],” said Nowitzki, who emphasized weight training with his legs during the offseason in an attempt to avoid knee problems. “I don’t want to wait until October 30th and then have a scope. That’s pretty obvious. ”I’ve never liked missing games in my career. I’ve always liked to be there for the boys. If that’s something we need to look at, if the swelling comes back next week, we’ve got a decision to make.”
  • Mike Woodson and the Knicks players were gushing over the play of J.R. Smith in their first preseason game against the Wizards, from Alah Hahn of MSG: “Smith had 20 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists with a plus-22 rating in 27:33. He hit 8 of 11 from the field with just one three-point attempt (which he made). “He played great,” Mike Woodson said. “I mean that’s what he can do, he can score the ball, he’s trying to defend this year which is kind of nice to see. We’re going to need that from everybody. Everybody coming off that bench is going to play an important role.” Steve Novak gushed about how Smith found him for open looks. Jason Kidd also took note of a discipline and maturity he saw in Smith that wasn’t there in the past. Kidd gave the example of a play in the first quarter, when on a switch by the Wizards defense, Smith was being defended by a big that he could easily beat off the dribble.“In the past I think he would have gone one-on-one the first time instead of being patient, instead of taking his time and he got a great look against the big and he made it,” Kidd said.”
  • DeShawn Stevenson apologized to Deron Williams for calling him out on twitter, from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York: “Stevenson had blasted Williams on the social media site in response to comments Williams made about his ex-teammates laughing after losses during the franchise’s final season in New Jersey. ”I Talk 2 My X Teammate 2Day And He Told Me That He Wasn’t Talking About Me And They Mis-Print What He Said……” Stevenson tweeted Friday. ”So I’m A Real Dude And Want 2 Say Sorry 2 Dwill For Spazzing And A Real Dude Would Say Sorry! So Sorry Dwill. ”Takes Alot 4 A Man 2 Call A Man And Tell Me The Truth!! I Respect That!!”
  • Here are those tweets that Stevenson apologized for:
I hate Fake Muthafuckers That Quit On team but talk shit in Espn Mag .
@DSteve92JMarie
dsteve92 & JMarie
If u gonna say ppl Quit say Names I Don't Quit I work hard period when u say that my name in it and I work hard I don't quit!!!
@DSteve92JMarie
dsteve92 & JMarie
  • Goran Dragic is not afraid to be a starter. In fact, that’s what he dreamed of becoming as a child, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “Dragic “has a lot more confidence now than when he left here,” Gentry said. “He feels like he belongs. He feels like a real solid player. We’re happy to have him. I told him, ‘We are not replacing Steve. We are starting Goran Dragic as our point guard.’ ” Dragic is looking forward to the challenge of finally proving himself as an every-day starter. ”When I was a kid, I dreamed about the moment of when I’d be a starter in the NBA,” Dragic said. “Everyone wants to be a starter in the NBA. …It’s going to be a real challenge for me, but I’m not scared.”
  • Chris Kaman showed the Mavericks what he is capable of in his first two preseason games, from Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: “Chris Kaman, despite a balky lower back and a moment during the Tuesday game in Spain when he kept flexing his right leg, already has flashed the skills that made him an All-Star earlier in his career. Kaman averaged 14.5 points and eight rebounds in the two European exhibitions, which don’t count in the official preseason record books. He played roughly half of each game. That’s the sort of production the Mavericks hope to rely on this season, and it would represent by far the best offense they’ve ever gotten out of the center position. And this is before the Mavericks have actually had time to work collectively on knocking off a lot of rough edges on the offensive end. “Early in the season, it takes time for new teams to get it together,’’ Kaman said. “It’s part of basketball. I missed an easy layup or jumper, it comes with flow and time with eight new guys in here. It’s going to take some time. You just got to be patient with us.’’
  • MarShon Brooks could miss the entire preseason due to tendinitis in right foot, from Howard Beck of The New York Times: “MarShon Brooks, the Nets’ promising young sixth man, could miss most of the preseason schedule because of tendinitis in his right foot. Brooks wore a walking boot on Thursday and watched from the sidelines while his teammates played a simulated game. He is expected to wear the boot for another day or two and will then need another couple days of rehabilitation work. The injury is not considered serious, and Brooks indicated that he could resume playing within a few days.”
  • Andris Biedrins appears to have a serious psychological issue when it comes to free throws, according Chris Ballard of SI: “They talk of how Biedrins became tentative once he started missing free throws — how you could see him shying away from the basket. And they’ll tell you of the about-face of Nelson, who began to publicly question the desire of his center in 2008. ”He really revered Nellie,” said Bill Duffy, Biedrins’ agent since his first year in the league. “When he fell out of favor with Nellie, it was almost like falling out of favor with your father.” Biedrins professes to be at a loss. At this year’s media day, after the beat writers cleared out, we talked a bit. There was no defensiveness or bravado. He spoke about how “my goal is to feel good about myself”; how he’d avoided reading any articles about himself for years but to no avail — his friends see them and text or call. And he spoke of how “free throws are more emotional for me than anything else.”
  • Jrue Holiday thinks the 76ers can contend this season and feels no extra pressure, from Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld: “Oh for sure,” Holiday said to HOOPSWORLD when asked if the 76ers can contend. “I think definitely because of what happened last year and what people saw. Heart goes a long way and just being able to fight. The pieces that we added have everything that we want and are good teammates to make us a good team “I think the pieces we added are going to take us to that next level, especially with the shooters we have. We struggled with scoring last year, but I don’t think we will this year. And, we have one of the best big men in the league. I think we’re on the right path.” Despite the increased expectations and being in a contract year, Holiday isn’t feeling much more pressure than in years past. “Not really,” Holiday said. “All I have to do is pass the ball to Dorrell (Wright), J-Rich, Nick (Young) and wait for them to make the shots. It’s going to be fun.”
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