Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Kobe Bryant opines on Shaq, Beijing Olympics, competitive nature and Google in GQ profile


The uncertainty regarding whether Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will play tonight against Golden State highlights the latest example of the ongoing reality of Bryant's injury-plagued season. It's also largely his play this season as well as his proven ability and inability to overcome those injuries, including a sprained left ankle, a fractured right index finger, a sore elbow and back spasms.

In an incredibly well-written and reported GQ profile, the author, J.R. Moehringer, takes it a step further by outlining Bryant's career and personal successes and failures through the scope of his different body parts, including his right index finger, right pinkie, left wrist, right arm, eyes, back and right shoulder. It definitely proves to be a correct metaphor for Bryant, whose career of success has had its share of bumps and bruises.

Below is the Cliffs notes version of the story, but be sure to read it in its totality.

On being surrounded by the best of the best athletes at the Beijing Olympics: “I felt like Harry Potter going to Hogwarts.”

On his relationship with Shaq: “The biggest mistake I made was responding to what he was saying about me. Once I responded, now that made it seem like I was part of that whole thing. It’s like, OK, these two are against each other. As opposed to just staying quiet, which is what I’ve been doing the last few years. Let him say what he needs to say.”

On Bryant saying his win-at-all-costs mindset doesn’t carry over to the rest of his life: “What people see on court is another side of me; it’s not me. That dark side that’s coming to get you – ha ha! I’m not losing this [expletive] game – that’s not who I am. That’s part of me. Off the court, I’m completely different.”

Lakers guard Derek Fisher on being asked about Bryant: Fisher estimated reporters and fans have tried sharing their take on Bryant "10 million times." Writes Moehringer: "Whatever follows, Fisher adds, is always, always wrong. Not that Fisher knows for sure, either. He has nothing but praise for Bryant, but he also lets slip that he's never been to the man's house."

Friend and actress Hilary Swank on what distinguishes Bryant as a basketball player and person: "What sets him apart from others is his thirst for knowledge. "He uses every way, and then some, to learn more about the art of life, getting his mind out of the way."

Bryant protects his privacy even on good things about him: Writes Moehringer: "His reps urge him to speak more about his charitable works, like his fund to help victims of natural disasters in China or his partnership with After-School All-Stars, a program that tutors and mentors schoolchildren. You can be with Bryant for hours and hours and he won't tell you about the cancer-stricken boy he took to Disneyland. They spent most of the day together, and when the boy died soon after, his mother phoned to say that the last time she saw her son smile was that magic afternoon with his idol."

Bryant on whether he Googles his own name: "Eeew, I'd be a little uncomfortable Googling myself. People sit there — and Google themselves? That's kind of weird."

Moehringer on how different Bryant is around media compared to fans: "He answers their questions, including several in Spanish. (He speaks both Spanish and Italian.) He says next to nothing but does so politely, amiably. When there are no more questions, when he's decided there are no more questions, he heads for the exit, flanked by his private security. A small group of fans are waiting. He stops, speaks to them in a markedly different voice, not the voice he uses with people wielding tape recorders and notebooks. This voice is utterly unguarded. This voice is as shockingly open as Bryant taking the last shot."

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant appears on the front cover of the latest issue of GQ magazine. Credit: Terry Richardson/GQ.

Comments () | Archives (29)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Kobe showed the public voice when he made the comments about trading Bynum (pre beast) for Jason Kidd. He never would have made that comment to the press.

Bryant on whether he Googles his own name: "Eeew, I'd be a little uncomfortable Googling myself. People sit there — and Google themselves? That's kind of weird."

I Googled myself once. It was a unpleasant surprise.

So kobe is friends with the next karate kid huh? Nice one mamba.

MM - when I clicked onto the blog, the most recent thread that shows is the "Health, Homecourt advantage.." one. There are at least 4 others since then, yet they don't show up on the main page! Then there was a weird comment section that didn't even have my name come up or even the comment box itself. Very strange things going on here today....

Do you (or your IT dept) need a re-train? Or maybe we need an injury update for y'all?! :)

Ohhhhh chic - you poor thing - that's just TERRIBLE.

BTW - thanks to ladyjem for posting that GQ link on a previous thread. READ IT you guys - it's very enlightening.


You know, Kobe's and Kareem's careers are taking remarkably similar paths when it comes to their relationship with the media.

Unfortunately for Kareem, there was no Facebook or Twitter or Google to let slip his human side for all the masses to see. Kobe benefits from being cut-throat on the court and standoffish to the media because the other stuff leaks out.

Like, I already knew about the cancer victim story and working in an inner city, I know of some of his charitable foundations' work.

None of us knew anything about Kareem, because the beat writers were the only outlet for his stories. Because they didn't like him, the could (and did) decide to print only the negative stuff, or nothing at all. Today, as soon as Kareem would do something cool, or nice, or fan friendly, that fan would immediately twitter the whole thing, catch a photo or vid on his cell and post it on youtube. At the height of his career, that youtube video would have gotten a million views and the aloof star that the media then was trying to portray would have been revealed as just a persona.

We all have "personas".



With all due respect, Kareem's persona didn't involve a public scandal early in his career, nor another media frenzy over a falling out with a superstar teammate right after that. Kareem was treated very unfairly by the media for no good reason, except that he decided to take on a muslim name and shunned the press in part because they couldn't understand that he was acting on principle.

I very much admire both Kobe's and Kareem's basketball skills, but I have to say that I am much more impressed with Kareem as a person. I'm sorry, but I just don't see the similarity between the two...

LakerTom, Astronut & others who care,

re: the quote in the article by Kevin Ding about Bynum & Offense
affecting his defense.

my email to kding:

On 2/11/2010, you wrote:

He’s a score-first player, and if his points go down, it’s highly likely so does his commitment to defense. There is a very real risk that you lose the best of Bynum if you bench him and shake his confidence.

My question is: Did Phil Jackson indicate that there is risk of "his commitment to defense" fading if his points go down or
is that your personal assessment?

His response:

That quote is my assessment – but partially based on the many things Phil has said about Andrew.

MM has received a full copy of the email, so he can verify this if he so chooses.
Bottom line: Phil Jackson has said things to support the conclusion: If
Bynum doesn't get his offense his commitment to defense deteriorates.

Feel free to manipulate/twist/dis-regard this as you need.

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!!


Bingo. Spot on.

Nice post.

Fish has never been to Kobe's house?

Kobe on GQ, another plus as a fashion setter. I think his shoes designed by Nike are the wrong shoes for basketball players. Yes, it fashionable but causes injury on ankle especially for high flying and constant movement on criss-crossing stance. Any foot specialist would discourage this type of shoes. What's wrong about bringing back high tops with Kobe's signature? It hits two birds with one pair of shoes.


On Hoopsworld, Eric Pincus was asked about Earl Watson coming to the Lakers:

Rob in Raleigh, NC:
What are the chances the Lakers make a play for a PG like Earl Watson who would be easier to acquire than Kirk Hinrich?
Eric Pincus:
I'd put that on the to-do list. Watson is a solid, defensive-minded guard. He'd be a help. The problem I see is that he makes just a little bit too much for the Lakers' trade exception - the Pacers would have to include a throw-in to make it work for someone like Adam Morrison.

~~A throw-in of 2nd drop pick will not be bad. I read in the previous thread Earl Watson is bad in D. His stats. 7.5 ppg, 4.6 APG and a Bruin CHAMP! Now if he does not pan is another expiring contract. What a big savings for the old man to reduce the luxury taxes by 4.9M vs. Ammo on the bench. Watson is 30 years old, therefore Lakers have two year window period to find the BEST CHOICE for PG like Ricky Rubio teamed up with Pau Gasol. Perhaps, by that time PJ is already retired and it will be the last hurrah for Kobe or just at its peak.

Why do our friends consider EW a rubbish PG, an ex-Bruin? Well, what else but to protect vested interest on status quo. Are they protecting Ammo as a status quo on the bench who is just waiting for the season to end, Noooo? Another cinder block often said "oh he will not know the triangle with 28 games to go." Gasol was acquired on Feb 1st two years ago, immediately we were in the Finals while Bynum and Ariza were injured. Triangle or no triangle, the game of basketball does not change i.e. rebound with all your heart and mind, defend the space and be not afraid and improve shooting % skills through constant practice. It is the same in 1960 and still the same in 2010.

Again, fellow Laker fans in the blog let us be loyal to our marquee players like Kobe and Gasol(for a time). NBA is an ebb and flow of players, you retain your good stocks and get rid of old stocks. I saw how they got rid of Wilkes and Worthy got in, got rid of Nixon to let Byron Scott. When their time is up, Worthy was also dropped and Byron was traded. There are two times in a year we can wish for a change i.e. Feb 18 and on July 1st.

By game time like tonight, we always cheer for all our players whether Kobe or another name who may be anathema to your system. That should be the mojo of every fan not this bandwagon mentality of coercion.

In that picture, Kobe is wearing:

Wool suit, $2,535, shirt, $325, and tie, $175, by Dolce & Gabbana. Pocket square, $20, by Geoffrey Beene

You're very welcome Mamba24 and Justanothermambafan.

Um...SURE I believe Kobe when he says he never googled himself, just like I believed him when he said, "I would never do that. You guys know me."

I think that the suit jacket should have a 3rd button, in order to make him look a bit more professional.

Just a thought.

Kobe Byrant takes Cabbie on an exclusive ride in his helicopter to practice for this interview. -

the new moon lunch box is quite funny.

sup cali -

You couldn't be MORE wrong. It's GQ man - what do YOU know??

LOL!!!!! C U on the chat!

FEARless - Right On, well said.

Probably still not good enough for all the Kobe Haters on this blog to understand, though....sigh. Oh well..... 2010 Finals MVP , let's GO!!


You forget that in this country, becoming a Muslim, especially at that time, was a major scandal. It was so Malcolm X-like (he even changed his *gasp* name). Malcolm was an incredibly polarizing figure.

Being associated with Elijah Mohammad? E-Gads! No way! It seemed anti-American at the time. Which only fueled the media bias.

You seem to forget. Aloof is aloof. Once a person is stamped with that moniker, it is very hard to shake, especially if the person doing the labeling also controls just how much of a person's gregariousness is publicized.

What a conflict of interest.

Aztronut, I respect your opinion, but in this case I think it's been "messaged" just a little bit.

You know, I respect your opinion, even if you are not correct.



I like Kobe's threads, 2 buttons 007!!


"You know, I respect your opinion, even if you are not correct."

And I obviously feel the same about you!

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this though...

"I respect your opinion, but in this case I think it's been "messaged" just a little bit."

I thought I was speaking from the heart, but I am interested to hear why you seem to doubt that. Do tell...

Kobe Bryant next to Micheal Jordan is the best player in NBA history. I love his competitiveness and his focus on the court. But many of you seem to forget the rap song Shaq made about Kobe, there was hardly any critism of Shaq, but if Kobe would have responded he would have been blasted by the media.
I think the public and the media treats him unfair but what I love about Kobe is...He doesnt give a S***

I guess Kobe has much more love and more appreciated in the Philippines(where I'm from) than his own country.

Kobe Bean Bryant is the most "underappreciated" athlete in all of sports, considering what he has accomplished so far.


All I mean by "messaged" is that we should learn from the lesson of Kareem and be skeptical when a reporter tells us how aloof an athlete is. Reporters often and commonly assume that people will treat the press like they would anyone else.

They seem to conveniently forget that the press doesn't behave like anyone else and so should not expect that the reactions they receive have any relationship to real life.

That's all.

I am NOT questioning you heart by any stretch of the imagination!



Thanks for the response. I assure you that I’m as cynical as they come. I distrust the MSM with a passion and I actually admire Kareem for his “aloofness” and sticking to his principles.

However, I can’t help thinking that Kobe is “playing” the media for his own purposes. I’m not saying that those purposes are necessarily bad and perhaps this is Kobe’s deserved revenge for the mistreatment he suffered through earlier in his career.

All I was trying to say initially was that Kobe did have a role in bringing some of that criticism upon himself, while Kareem really did not. That is why I had problems with your original analogy. No disrespect intended, of course. G’day!

Kobe is "Sir No: Dee-Void of Personality". This article proves it...

I have found a pair of nice Kobe shoes v from a worldwide shoes website.Free shipping within 7 days. happily to share it with you sincerly.



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...