Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Bribed Teammates In 2003?
Lakers Rumors: Kobe bribed his Los Angeles Lakers teammates with Adidas gear, just so they would pass the ball more to him, according to former Laker Robert Horry.Advertisement
During the 2002-03 season, Bryant had become the focal point of the offense with reigning Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal sidelined with a toe injury. Shaq was forced to miss the first 12 games with hallux rigidus, a degenerative arthritis in his toe. Shaq had controversially waited the whole summer until undergoing surgery, a move that reportedly ticked off Bryant.
“I got hurt on company time, so I’ll heal on company time,” was Shaq’s response while explaining his reason to delay surgery.
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Shaq vs Kobe feud…
It was during that season when Shaq and Kobe began to feud, both on and off the court, which eventually led to the former being traded after the 2003-04 season. Horry, who left for San Antonio Spurs a year later, revealed to Lakers reporter Mark Medina that Bryant wanted to become the alpha male of the team.
According to Medina, “Robert Horry said Kobe told teammates when Shaq was injured in 02-03 season that he’d give his teammates Adidas gear if he kept getting ball.”
Switching to Nike…
Medina also tweeted that “Horry said Kobe still hasn’t given teammates gear. Kobe said he doesn’t owe anything since he switched to Nike.” This is interesting, because it was during that period when Kobe switched from Adidas to Nike. Is that why Horry & Co never received the promised gear?
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Regardless of the veracity of the story, Bryant did thrive that season, leading the league with 2,641 points – the second-highest output of his illustrious career. In recent months, Horry has made a few inflammatory remarks about Bryant, especially his decision to pick “Tim Duncan over Kobe Bryant” if his intent was to win championships. That remark didn’t sit well with Laker Nation.
Kobe Bryant is yet to confirm or deny the story.
Stay tuned for latest Lakers Rumors.