4. [Smush Parker is] the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.” – 2012 OC Register article reflecting on the 2005-06 season.
Now, I don’t particularly care for Kobe’s shots at Smush Parker, as he is Smush and Kobe is Kobe Bryant. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point. The Lakers essentially wasted a few of Kobe’s most dominant seasons when he was paired with the likes of Kwame Brown, Smush, Chris Mihm, and Slava Medvedenko. If the Lakers had been able to pair their superstar shooting guard with at least one other top tier player, the Lakers likely could have at least made another Western Conference finals or two. But it was pretty clear that Smush was not an NBA level player. After playing all 82 games for the Lakers in 2005-06 and 2006-07, Smush went on to only appear in 28 more NBA games over the next two seasons.