Kobe Bryant and his stories never seem to disappoint fans. He had an insane work ethic and achieved a lot in his career. At times, Kobe was a tad bit too much for his opponents and even his teammates.
He popularly called out Smush Parker for not being able to play at the NBA level. At that point in his career, Kobe was already an established superstar, so people easily believed him.
However, even a young Kobe was very arrogant. Former NBA player Jayson Williams shared a story about the same. It was the 1998 NBA All-Star game at Madison Square Garden. Bryant's first All-Star selection and he was starting to get attention from fans.
At the Grand Hyatt New York hotel, Bryant was in a lift with Williams, Charles Oakley, and future U.S. president Donald Trump. According to the book, 'Three Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty, Williams approached Kobe and asked how he was doing. All he got in return was a cold, "Hey Big Man" from Bryant.
"Williams was just infuriated, because he was one of these old school guys … like Oakley actually, who believes in the code. The code is [you’re] supposed to treat someone with respect. He lunges after freaking Kobe Bryant and just punches Kobe right in the elevator. Donald Trump of all things broke up the fight, or got in the middle of a fight between Kobe Bryant and Jayson Williams."
Williams talked about the incident years down the line, “Kobe was cocky to everyone. Everyone. Michael Jordan was arrogant, but with a smile. Kobe was just a d***. I didn’t appreciate it."
Williams believed both Kobe and Jordan were arrogant in their own way. MJ in a way, where he just messed up with other players, but a young Kobe in a much, much worse manner.
Over the years, the late NBA legend improved that aspect of his personality. After retiring from the league, he even started helping upcoming NBA players and sharing his 2 cents with them.
Furthermore, Kobe even improved his relationship with Shaq. This proves how mature he became after retiring from the league and ultimately, made fans miss even more when he passed away in 2020.