Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Smush Parker is hopeful that he will get an apology from former teammate Kobe Bryant.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is known as one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the NBA. It is part of what made him the player that he was. Bryant demanded the best from himself and his teammates. Sometimes, that competitive fire rubbed people the wrong way.
Bryant has had some run-ins with teammates throughout his playing career. One of the most memorable incidents involved point guard Smush Parker.
Parker was on the Lakers for two seasons. He was the point guard in the first two seasons that Phil Jackson made his return to the Lakers’ sideline after a one-year absence. Parker went undrafted out of Fordham but managed to earn a starting spot in Jackson’s lineup.
Parker played in all 82 games both seasons he was with the Lakers, starting them all except two. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.2 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Those numbers aren’t going to blow anyone away, but they are serviceable given his role on the team. In Jackson’s triangle offense, the need for a traditional point guard is lessened, and Parker filled that role.
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Parker played the best basketball of his career with the Lakers. He knocked down 3-pointers, making 36.6 percent from deep in his two seasons. He also provided solid defense in the backcourt alongside Bryant. However, he was not someone that Bryant was a big fan of.
Bryant ripped into Parker in 2012, saying he was the worst and should not have been in the NBA. Bryant said the Lakers were too cheap to sign a point guard and they let Parker walk on. In addition to that, Bryant also reportedly told Parker he was not allowed to talk to him at practice.
Those are some harsh words. Recently, Parker had an interview with Matt Caputo of Bleacher Report and said that he would like an apology from Bryant.
"“This might not ever happen, but in a perfect world, if Kobe would just say something like he might have said something [about me] out of anger and he didn’t really mean those things about me being the worst point guard in the NBA,” Parker says earnestly. “I really can’t believe that the two seasons that I played with him, with the numbers that I put up and moments that we had, that he really felt like I was the worst point guard in the NBA.”Parker pauses.“If he could say something like that, it would really mean the world to me,” Parker says, laughing at the notion of being issued an apology. “I get a lot of whiplash for being the guy who said something about Kobe Bryant.”"
Those comments that Bryant said about Parker have had a lasting impact on him. They still seem to sting him, but Parker isn’t without some blame in this situation.
In 2009, Parker spoke about how he was not a fan of Bryant’s personality and how he treats people. Bryant clearly wasn’t a fan of Parker, and after hearing that, let him know it as bluntly as possible.
There is a chance that these two can smooth things over in the future. Usually, time can heal things, but it is anyone’s guess if Parker will ever get the apology that he is looking for from Bryant.