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Kobe Bryant Was Visceral With His Smack Talk
The Black Mamba's trash-talking was high I.Q. and next level.
We’ve all seen that one commercial where Kobe Bryant mocks Jalen Rose about the 81-point game.
We’ve also all seen that one 2K ad where Kobe eviscerates Derrick Rose as they play the game.
But these examples of his trash talk are nothing compared to what he actually says on the hardwood.
According to Gilbert Arenas, who was on The Young Person Basketball Podcast with RJ Hampton, Kobe was clever with his words and he made sure they caused his opponents to look stupid.
“It was intelligent trash. [Kobe] just made you always second guess everything you’re doing… When you played him, you were playing a mental war.”
Arenas goes on to give examples of things that Kobe said to him or his teammates.
“‘How many fouls you got? I think you got two. Here comes your third.’ Uh, uh, okay. And then you jump up. Third. Go sit on the bench, stupid.”
During the “uh, uh, okay” part, Arenas is showing how Kobe used to pump fake before his shots and how players always fell for it and jumped into him, committing fouls.
Arenas also shared a story about how the “Black Mamba” used to call him a “one-sided player” to bait him into guarding him.
Arenas says he would always refuse because he knew Kobe would take him down into the post. But Kobe would continue to poke, telling the Wizards All-Star that he can’t respect someone who’s one-sided.
Kobe's “trash talk” stories have been told by a bunch of players. He is one of the best at it, after all.
But no one has ever shared this perspective. No one has ever really talked about Kobe using smack talk in a psychological way to trick his competitors into doing something dumb.
We all knew that he was smart. But this just shows that Kobe’s intelligence on the court was on another level.