In an interview on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" Lakers star Kobe Bryant admitted that he’s heard your complaints about him. Perhaps unexpectedly, Bryant agrees with you.
Here are some words interview host Andrea Kremer has heard used to describe Bryant: loner, selfish, single-minded, arrogant, aloof, relentless, obsessed and ruthless. You can watch the video to hear a few even stronger, harsher words from former Lakers teammate Steve Nash. When Bryant laughed, Kremer was confused.
“Because they're all true. Of course. They're all true.
Every single one of them. They're all true.”
Bryant is incredibly aware of his reputation. In fact, he’s so in tune with what people think about him that he has no problem discussing it.
The Black Mamba shared a story about when he arrived early to the first day of Lakers practice after defeating Spanish-basketball star Pau Gasol in the 2008 Olympics. In an effort to motivate his former teammate, Bryant hung his Gold Medal in Gasol’s locker.
“Listen: you finished second in the NBA season. You finished second in the Olympics. You don't want to finish second again this year, do you? Get your a– in gear.
Those are very a—— things … But my job is to bring the best out of people.”
Bryant knew it wasn’t the nice move. But he and teammate Gasol went on to win back-to-back NBA championships after losing to the Celtics the previous season. So perhaps that’s what makes Bryant so successful.
While most would likely be visibly upset to hear such negative language used to describe their own character, Bryant had the opposite reaction. Instead, he agreed and talked about how that’s simply just his role as a motivator.
"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" returned for its 227th episode (featuring Kobe Bryant) on Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET.
Bryan Kalbrosky produces digital content for FOXSports.com. For more, follow him on Twitter @BryanKalbrosky