Charles Barkley tells the Inside the NBA crew how he felt in regards to Kobe Bryant being ‘selfish’ during Game 7 against the Suns in 2006.
Much can be said about Kobe Bryant’s relationship with the media and his own Lakers teammates from the time Shaq was traded to the Heat in 2004 to the point of Pau Gasol’s arrival in La La Land. The Lakers were essentially stuck in no-man’s land during this time. They had a superstar in Kobe Bryant. But they surrounded him with pieces that weren’t good enough to make the Playoffs.
The media criticized Kobe on a regular basis for not being a ‘team player’ and ball-hogging for all 48 minutes of the game. Everything boiled over when Kobe dropped 50 in Game 6 of the WC first round in 2006 against the Suns and the Lakers still lost. The media decimated Bryant for his selfish play.
In retaliation, Kobe took ‘only’ 16 shots in Game 7. This included 3 shots in the second half which resulted in merely one point. Chuck was livid in regards to his performance in the 30+ point loss to the Suns.
Charles Barkley recalls his comments on Kobe Bryant following an abysmal loss to the Suns
Charles Barkley and the Inside crew recently sat down to discuss the various obstacles they’ve had to cross in order to get where they are. Chuck talks about being criticized for being critical of players in the league.
He then brought up this story about Kobe and his refusal to shoot the ball in the most important game of the Lakers’ 2005-06 season. Chuck recalled that he was pissed off at Kobe and called him ‘selfish’. He then proceeds to reveal that Kobe got a hold of his contact information and yelled profanities at the ‘Round Mound of Rebound.’
Chuck tells a story about Kobe confronting him for being critical of his performance in Game 7 of the 2006 WC first round
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 5, 2021
Kobe was eventually brought onto the NBAonTNT set following the series loss to the Suns to shed light on his side of the story. He strongly disagreed with the narrative that he had ‘given up’ on his teammates. He claimed he was simply abiding by the game-plan they had laid out to beat the Suns.
It’s been well documented that Kobe Bryant was not a fan of the roster construction around him during this 4-year span. He had even approached the Lakers management to demand a trade away from LA. However, after several moves that got rid of guys like Smush Parker and Kwame Brown and brought on solid veteran help, Kobe eventually got the rings he deserved.