Lakers’ assistant coach Phil Handy describes Kobe Bryant and how the Black Mamba responded when Handy called him an a-hole
Kobe Bryant was one of the fiercest competitors the NBA had ever seen. Kobe mirrored a major part of his game from his idol Michael Jordan. Turns out Bryant also picked up on MJ’s competitiveness. While the need and the drive to win are present in all great players, players like Kobe and Jordan showed an elevated level of the same.
Because of their need to be the best, more often than not, their images were misconceived by teammates. Recently Steve Kerr talked about how MJ differed from stars like Tim Duncan and Stephen Curry. Lakers’ assistant coach Phil Handy made his way to All The Smoke Podcast recently. There he recalled an incident between him and Kobe Bryant, which showed truly how relentless Bryant was.
Phil Handy recalls calling Kobe Bryant an a**hole
Kobe Bryant was not the easiest teammate to have. He always had high hopes from his fellow teammates, and to stand up and deliver to the mark is not a simple job. Phil Handy was then a development coach under Mike Brown. He recalls an incident when he went up to Kobe Bryant and asked him why was he such an a-hole.
Handy said the answer had him surprised. Kobe did not mince his words, and said,
“You really wanna know? Some of my teammates don’t understand the work. I see dudes walking into practice 10 minutes before practice and they leave right after. Why the f–k am I going to pass them the basketball? I don’t respect their work ethic.”
Bryant continued and said that the lack of dedication by his teammates felt like an insult towards himself.
“I’m in here busting my ass every day trying to perfect my craft and these dudes don’t want to work on their game. I don’t trust them. So I’m not going to pass them the basketball. I’m gonna ride them hard every day.”
Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy told a classic story about Kobe’s “realness” on All The Smoke 🐍 #MambaMentality
— Justin Perry aka JP (@ImJust_JP) June 18, 2021
Kobe Bryant and his no-nonsense attitude were famed all throughout the league. While Bryant used to play, his mentality was taken lightly. However, since he retired, Mamba Mentality became a way of life for many. Even though Kobe is not among us anymore, his mentality would continue to push others towards excellence for quite some time.