Seattle SuperSonics legend Gary Payton reveals why NBA veterans hated a young Kobe Bryant when he initially entered the league.
Today, the legacy of Bryant is that of one of the most influential and impactful players of all time. Considered as a modern Michael Jordan, the Mamba’s work ethic alongside his impressively decorated resume is what brings him in the GOAT debate.
At the same time, Bean was also known for being a tough teammate. He wanted all his teammates to be the best they could. However, the measures he took to improve himself and his teammates weren’t welcomed by all players.
Some of them considered Kobe as brash and overconfident. Even Kobe’s future teammate Gary Payton has talked how several NBA players considered Bryant as “arrogant” when he first entered the league as an 18-year-old.
“Kobe Bryant entered the league with an attitude which many people were against”: Gary Payton
Kobe was considered a fearless basketball player. His only goal was to be the best ever to play the sport. As a rookie, he even targeted Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan, and completely outperforming the GOAT on several occasions. It didn’t take Kobe long, to make a name for himself and set his mark on the league.
His determination and strive to be the best came off as “arrogant” to many NBA veterans. Recently, Gary Payton revealed why the 6-foot-6 shooting guard was hated as he entered the league. The Glove explained:
“Kobe came in real arrogant. He was a high school kid coming in there talking about he gonna be the greatest, he’s gonna be one of the greatest basketball players. When he went to the Lakers, it started off when he forced Charlotte to trade… to the Lakers, so it is what it was.”
“Them OGs was like, Man, who does this kid think he is, making people do this and that.’… So I just say, yeah, a lot of people were really against him, because of how he acted, but I loved it. He had an attitude, he had a dog to it.”
Kobe didn’t care what people thought of him. And that is why he recognized as one the greatest player ever. Once all said and done, Bryant did live up to the surreal standards he set for himself, while inspiring his millions of fans from around the world.
He left the league as a 5-time champ, 2-Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star, 1-time league MVP, the face of the most successful franchise and will be, rightfully, inducted in the Hall-Of-Fame in a few days.