Nick Young vividly remembers the time when the legendary Kobe Bryant chewed out him and his Lakers teammates for playing soft.
The Black Mamba’s dedication to his craft and to improving himself is truly second to nobody. Kobe was one of the few players who managed to squeeze every drop of juice from his range of talents.
Through his 20 years in the league, Kobe was constantly looking to improve himself and his teammates’ skillsets. He had a low tolerance for slackers and lazy teammates, and he disliked those who played soft on the court.
This meant that Kobe would often fallout with teammates. His feud with Shaq famously stemmed from the latter’s attitude as a slacker during preseason and in-season practices.
As somebody who’d had to work for every ounce of respect, Bryant’s frustration with mediocrity around him was quite understandable. It still wasn’t something pleasant to be on the receiving end of his hairdryer treatment, as Nick Young found out.
Nick Young recollects how Kobe Bryant chewed out him and his teammates for playing soft
Young was a teammate of the Black Mamba for his final 3 seasons in the NBA. These were some of the worst years in the Lakers’ history. They had no star to pair with Kobe, and they were scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Bryant had never been a member of such a team, and as such, he didn’t like how the team culture had changed with their decline in talent. He wanted to put his foot down and keep his teammates on the edge, looking out for victory.
This is how he managed to once terrorize Young and his other teammates.
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“We were getting blew out in Portland. Kobe is in the locker room just waiting for everybody to come in. You know everybody in there got ‘Kobe’s’ on the team. He comes in and says ‘Y’all playing soft. How you gonna wear these shoes and y’all soft? This ain’t what we do here in LA.’
“I’m not thinking nothing of it. He tells everybody to take their shoes off, and I’m like ‘What? What’s wrong with you man?’ And we took them off. He just started grabbing people’s shoes and threw them all in the trash. He’s like ‘Y’all don’t deserve these. Until y’all get it right, y’all can’t wear no Kobe’s’.”