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Adrian Wojnarowski Reveals Kobe Bryant Would Play Mind Games With Players On Team USA: "Kobe Would Tell Westbrook, 'Why Do You Keep Letting KD Win The Scoring Title? You Should Be Winning The Scoring Title.'"

Adrian Wojnarowski Reveals Kobe Bryant Would Play Mind Games With Players On Team USA: "Kobe Would Tell Westbrook, 'Why Do You Keep Letting KD Win The Scoring Title? You Should Be Winning The Scoring Title.'"

Kobe Bryant was one of the best players in the history of the NBA. While Bryant's play on the court was elite, it was his mental strength that made him such a force of nature. Bryant was one of the most cerebral players in the history of the league, often getting into mental battles along with battles on the court.

Recently, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that Kobe Bryant would use his time as part of Team USA to sew the seeds of discontentment among star players from rival teams in the Western Conference (38:40 onward). He gave an example of Kobe doing this with Russell Westbrook, attempting to play mind games with him and affect his relationship with his OKC teammate Kevin Durant.

"Kobe used Team USA [to play mind games]... Kobe would tell Westbrook, 'Why do you keep letting KD win the scoring title? You should be winning the scoring title'... He would get that in Westbrook's head, to try to send him back to Oklahoma City to create friction."

Clearly, Bryant understood that a game of basketball isn't just won on the court, but is also a cerebral battle. And he did his best to get under his opponents' skin, whether it be through talking trash to them, or through playing mind games. Kobe was willing to do anything he had to help his team come out on top. And that is a skill that is truly invaluable.

For all of Bryant's greatness, his mind games didn't work out the way he had hoped. While Durant and Westbrook did eventually part ways, it was right after Kobe had retired, and he didn't get to capitalize on the work he had put in. In a way, Kobe got what he wanted, but wasn't able to truly enjoy it the way he would have hoped.