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A Young Kobe Bryant Was Pissed At Italian Kids' Trash Talk To Him: "You're A Good Player Here, But Once You Go To The States, You're Not Going To Be Able To Do None Of This Stuff."

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Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest shooting guards ever, often lauded for his shot creation ability. He is one of the best scorers to have ever played the game of basketball, and he notably won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A well-known fact about Kobe Bryant was that he spent a lot of his childhood years in Italy. He once mentioned that he didn't have any friends at the beginning of his time there and noted that he spent a lot of time alone.

“Growing up in Italy, when I first moved over there, I didn’t speak Italian, I didn’t have any friends. I had the game of basketball, and through sport, through soccer, I was able to make friends and build connections. But it was a lot of time spent alone. 

There is no doubt that having no friends is tough for any child, but Kobe Bryant clearly managed to persevere and "build connections" through playing sports such as basketball and soccer.

Kobe Bryant Proved His Italian Trash Talkers Wrong

When Kobe Bryant was in the league, trash-talk was very prevalent in the NBA. That was no different for him in his youth, as he once shared that he got trash-talked by other Italian players as a young hooper in Italy.

During a 2006 interview with Stephen A. Smith, Kobe Bryant revealed that Italian kids used to trash talk him by saying that he was a "good basketball player", but wouldn't have the same success in the United States. He noted that this form of trash talk "drove him crazy". (14:53):

“Growing up in Italy, what I used to hear a lot was- and it absolutely drove me crazy- was all the kids would say, ‘You know what, you’re a good basketball player here but once you go back to the States, you’re not going to be able to do none of this stuff.’ That just absolutely drove me crazy.”

Kobe Bryant was able to show what he could do once he made it over to the United States, thriving at the high school level with Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania.

It is quite likely that this trash talk fueled Kobe Bryant's desire to become the best from a very young age. For a while, he clearly was the best player in basketball, and it is obvious that he was able to dominate the NBA just like he dominated the Italian players in his youth.