Kobe Bryant has great quote about not being good friend

Kobe Bryant has a great explanation for why he's not a good friend.
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

By Steve DelVecchio

Allow us to let you in on one of the worst-kept secrets in the NBA – Kobe Bryant is not an easy person to get along with.

No one has ever questioned Bryant’s work ethic or commitment to winning, but plenty have wondered why he always has to be so arrogant when dealing with teammates, coaches, fans and the media. Earlier this year, Kobe admitted that he will “never be” a great friend. He elaborated on that remark in an interview with ESPN’s Jemele Hill at the BET Experience in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

“I meant that friends can come and go, but banners hang forever,” Kobe explained.

Some would argue that basketball only lasts until your late 30s (if you’re lucky), whereas friends last forever. As we know, Bryant is one of a kind.

“It’s crazy, right?” he added. “It’s like, ‘This dude is nuts.’ But when you grow up, I loved the game so much. It wasn’t on purpose to be a bad friend or not to be as good of a friend. It takes time to do that. It takes a lot of energy to do that.

“Consciously, all my energy was focused on one thing. It’s like, friends, I have friends that have known me since I was 11. They know that that’s how I am. But nine times out of 10, that’s how they are too. Because they’re as driven at what they do as what I am. It works out.”

At least he’s self aware.

Bryant, who referred to himself as an “a–hole” numerous times throughout the interview, said a lot of his personality was shaped when he lived in Italy – where his father played professional basketball – for eight years during his childhood. It was during that span that Kobe developed his love for (addiction to?) taking the lost shot.

“It makes you play things closer to the chest. Which is why I’m more comfortable shooting the ball off the double-team than passing to somebody in the corner for a game winner. No joke,” he said. “Because you grow up really relying on yourself. So I had to learn, no, it’s OK to work with others. But when you grow up in isolation, especially in pressure moments, you always kind of go back to your nature.”

Bryant’s assessment of himself as a friend goes perfectly with the recent response he had when he was called selfish on Twitter. It also further explains why Shaq said he would choose Kobe over LeBron James. After 19 seasons in the NBA, there is very little about Kobe Bryant that surprises anyone.

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