It’s no secret that five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant is one of the most competitive players in NBA history. Not only is Kobe constantly compared to Michael Jordan in terms of style of play and success, but also for the never-say-die attitude and relentless competitive drive.
Much like Jordan, Kobe’s competitive fire comes with a fair share of trash talking. As no strangers to on-the-court confrontations, Kobe and Jordan have been known to wreak havoc on opponents physically and mentally.
Apparently, Kobe has no age limit to those that will fall victim to his trash talk as DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors recalls the first time playing against the Los Angeles Lakers superstar at 15 years-old via Eric Koreen of NationalPost.com:
What was it like the first time you played against Kobe?
I was actually a sophomore in high school, I think. It was interesting. It was fun, at the same time: just going up against one of your favourite players and somebody you grew up watching as a kid. It was definitely exciting. It was fun. It was a challenge. I’ll never forget it.
Was he trash talking a 15-year-old kid?
Was he? A little bit. Every time he got scored on, he really didn’t like that too much. It was cool, though.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that has followed Kobe’s 16-year career in the league that he wouldn’t take it easy on DeRozan at 15. If anything, DeRozan took it as a sign of respect with Kobe not letting up on the gas pedal against the up-and-comer.
After expressing his desire to walk away from the game at the end of his contract with the Lakers, it appears that fans of the perennial All-Star will only have two more years of Kobe’s patented competitive fire unleashed on the rest of the league.
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