Chris Kaman is one of the myriad Lakers to join the team this off season. With the departure of Dwight Howard at the beginning of July, the Lakers were tasked with filling out their roster with minimum contract guys. Kaman was one of those guys.
While with the Clippers, Kaman played at an all star level while healthy, and was one of the better big men around the rim. Like Gasol, Kaman is fundamentally sound and has been one of the more competitive players in the NBA. Because of that, Kaman didn’t always like Lakers star Kobe Bryant according to ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin.
I always hated him. When you play against a guy like him, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, you don’t like them because they’re so competitive. I respect that, but I don’t like playing against them. But when you’re on their team, it’s a whole different story. You love the people. They’re good guys.
Kobe, he’s just been working hard trying to get himself ready. He comes to practice and he works his butt off. I respect that as well. I’m excited for him to play. I’m hoping sooner than later.
It’s not unnatural for NBA players to hold contempt for the opposition, especially when playing against an in-city rival that has been consistently as successful as his franchise had been futile.
Bryant, of course, is one of the NBA’s most competitive NBA players and has had some of his best games against the Clippers, a few of them while Kaman was on the team. Now, with Kaman on the same team as Bryant, it’s natural for the respect to develop when they’re seeing each other on a daily basis. Kaman is able to see the work that Bryant is putting in on a daily basis just to get back to playing shape.
Because of Kaman’s skill set, it’ll be interesting to see how he and Bryant mesh as they’re both high IQ players who can operate from various spots on the floor. Bryant is currently in Germany getting a procedure done on his knee, so it’ll be a while before we’re able to see how those two work together on the hardwood.
Be sure to check out our interview with Chris Kaman