Last week, an interaction between Bryant and former teammate Smush Parker made headlines, words having been exchanged in various mediums. Bryant discussed his philosophy on leadership in a Facebook post that seemed to at least indirectly address the issue.
It’s no secret that Bryant has repeatedly ripped Parker and that he is demanding of his teammates, but he remains close to many, past and present.
Most recently, in an extensive Lakers.com Q&A, camp signee/three-year veteran Chris Douglas-Roberts offered his thoughts on Bryant as a teammate:
Kobe is my man. He’s been great to me. I don’t know about Smush, but Kobe’s been great with me from day one. He’s a lunatic out here on the court, but I am too. He’s one of the greatest to ever play this game … and I’ve seen a guy who comes in here every day and treats practice like a game. I’ve seen a guy that will do anything to win. I’ve seen a guy who’s extremely competitive in each part of his day. I figured out that Kobe talks trash to keep you at a certain level. It’s about the alpha. This is what he does, and if you run with your tail between your legs, he sees this and he’s going to act on this. I have no problem with that. I like that. (Lakers head coach) Mike Brown assigned him as my 1-on-1 partner on my first day, and it got real. It got physical, some elbows were thrown, there was trash talking both ways, but it was all in the competitive nature. We were going at it. And I guess that’s why he respects me. He looks at me and he sees some characteristics in himself. I’m out there trying to kill you out there. Point blank, period. We can hang after practice, but I don’t see any faces while we’re on the court. I just see an opponent. If it’s Kobe that day, we gotta go at it, man! He’s extremely talented and skilled, so he’s going to win most of the time – but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to compete … And the bottom line is just that he’ll do anything to win. That’s it. That’s what I love the most. People used to try and make me feel bad for that, but that’s what he’s all about.