With the first matchup of the season looming against the Lakers tonight, ESPNBoston’s Jackie MacMullan was able to catch with Kobe Bryant yesterday, as the Lakers awaited the C’s in Boston. In the fantastic piece, Jackie gets Kobe to touch on a myriad of topics, including his admiration of Rajon Rondo.
Bryant was eager to weigh in on the notion that the Celtics actually might be better off with Rondo shelved for the remainder of the season. When presented with that theory, Kobe laughed uproariously — for a really, really long time.
The Celtics are 5-0 with a resurgence of ball movement since Rondo went down, but Bryant scoffed at the significance off the minuscule sample size.
“You don’t want Rondo? Send him my way,” Kobe declared. “I love everything about him. Everything. I love his attitude, I love his chippiness, his edge, his intellect, his know-it-allness. All of it. That’s what makes championship players.
“What guard have you seen at his size that will get you 18 assists, 17 boards and 20 points all in one game? That’s unheard of. I love that kid. I always make a point of talking to him during All-Star [Weekend]. He’s one of my favorites.”
Nice to see Bryant appreciates Rondo’s many talents and lays on a pretty convincing case about him on it. Just as much as Kobe likes Rondo, I bet Rajon detests him just as much and that makes it even more fun to read. Kobe also had a few words on the trade rumors surrounding this team right now:
“I’m not happy about what’s happening to them,” Bryant said. “We’re all running out of time. So I understand.”
With quotes like this, you would think Kobe is trying to get on the good side of Boston fans. Luckily, C’s fans are smart enough not to fall for that trap. Gush all you want about Rondo. He’s ours and he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon at least. And these old guys that are running out of time? They are going to beat your team at the Garden tonight in all likelihood.
We also get a fun story about Kobe’s tryout with the Celtics back in 1996. Yes, he even hated the Celtics back then.
Kobe actually had some brief exposure to the “Celtics way” in 1996 when he worked out for Boston prior to the NBA draft. When Bryant’s handlers told him the Celtics, who held the sixth pick, wanted him to come in, the 17-year-old high school kid flatly refused.
“They said, ‘What do you mean no?”‘ Kobe said. “I was such a Lakers fan and I just hated the Celtics. They said, ‘C’mon now, you have to do this.’ So I asked them, ‘But do I have to wear all that green stuff?”‘
Yes, he did. When he arrived at the workout facility, he was handed a green workout shirt and matching green shorts. He did dribbling and shooting drills with Dennis Johnson, a former All-Star turned assistant coach, then did some half-court offensive drills. (Kobe even tweeted a photo of his workout on Wednesday.)
And just so we ensure there isn’t any positivity about Kobe milling about heading into tonight, let’s embrace his thoughts about Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
“One of the lowest moments of my career,” he admitted.
Yes, Kobe. Yes, it was. Beat LA. Do yourself a favor and check out the full article HERE