After beating Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals back in 2009, the Lakers made a bold move by signing a wildcard in free agent Ron Artest. Although Artest seemed to be the perfect fit giving the Lakers an upgrade on both ends of the floor, many questioned whether he and Kobe could coexist in Los Angeles without killing each other.
Artest and Kobe had physical confrontations on the floor on more than one occasion, but all that was put aside once the two joined forces in Los Angeles. Both players began to respect one another after teaming up and have had nothing but good things to say about each other ever since.
The man now known as Metta World Peace said the following about Kobe beating him to the gym back in 2009, according to OC Register:
“3rd workout done. Let me tell why I LOVE KOBE “JELLY BEAN”BRYANT! I Get to the gym at 6:45,the Black Mamba gets there at 5:30! Go Lakers!!!”
Even though World Peace no longer plays alongside the five-time NBA champion, it’s clear that there’s a lot of respect between the two. The unlikely pairing worked out in Los Angeles with World Peace winning his first and only championship ring with the Lakers.
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