Former Teammate Details Why He Singled Out Kobe Bryant While Trash Talking

Published 11/03/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA JANUARY 29, 2013-Lakers Kobe Bryant bites his jersey while Pau Gasol shoots a free throw at the Staples Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant was undoubtedly one of the most talented players of his generation. With the mental and physical abilities of a beast, he was the gold standard for so many players in the world. Many tried to stop him, and many failed.

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Since they could seldom outlast him in terms of quality, opposition players would often trash talk the 18-time All-star in order to get an upper hand. Recently, ex-teammate Metta World Peace decoded why he only trash-talked Kobe.

Lakers forward Metta World Peace warms up before a game against the Gokden State Warriors on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Formerly known as Ron Artest, Metta World Peace played in the NBA for over 15 years. He knew Kobe in and out, as a teammate, brother, and opponent. In fact, he even won a ring with the 5-time champion in 2010.

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During his time, Kobe Bryant was the unstoppable force that headlined the league. Coming up against his Lakers squad with that Mamba mentality was a task in itself, let alone succeeding. Though the 41-year-old never feared the late star, he had immense respect and admiration for him.

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Metta World Peace gives distinct response to why he only trash-talked Kobe Bryant

The 2004 All-star was part of two Lakers setups, from 2009-13 and from 2015-17. As mentioned earlier, he won his sole title with the franchise in 2010. On the court, the forward did his job diligently, averaging over 13 points overall.

Although he was never really known to be one to take digs, Metta has recently revealed that he would trash talk only Bryant, but not out of spite. On the contrary, it was the opposite.

Lakers from left, ntawn Jamison, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace gather at the Staples Center Friday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Speaking on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast with Chris Haynes, the ex-Laker detailed why he would whisper jibes at Kobe. “I only talked trash to Kobe, I never talked trash to anyone,” confirmed Metta. “My trash talking was my physicality.”

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 Speaking about his trash-talking to Kobe, he said, “Kobe, RIP my brother, [I used to talk trash to him] because Kobe was a killer. You know what I’m saying? Kobe is amazing, you wanna compete and when you talk to Kobe, you’re gonna bring out the best in him. And I love it.”

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So Metta World Peace never talked trash out of spite of envy. In fact, he openly admitted that it brought out the best in Kobe, which in turn makes him improve his level. That’s what the great maverick did to everyone around him; he made them better players by virtue of his phenomenal skill. And for that, all of us and the sport itself will be eternally grateful to him!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

439 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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