The 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers were not a well-performing team, as they finished with a 21-61 record. However, that team is known among many fans as it had two very famous athletes: Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin. Kobe Bryant is famous for obvious reasons. While Jeremy Lin wasn't a star, he became famous during his "Linsanity" stretch with the New York Knicks.
On a recent episode of the All The Smoke podcast, Jeremy Lin joined hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson to talk about a variety of issues, including that 2014-15 season with Kobe Bryant. He revealed that during the 2014-15 season, he didn't talk to Kobe Bryant for the last few months of the season. (57:00)
At that time [Kobe] was coming back from injuries and he was also going through some injures. He was 35 year old Kobe with a 25 year old Kobe mind and so he had it in him that he wanted to prove to the world, all the reporters that said he couldn't come back from his Achilles or other injuries ... He had this intense level of 'I'm gonna prove you wrong' to reporters.
There were games where he would shoot 45 shots and it got to a point where he had shot us out of the game and again [Kobe] was at a point where he was going through so many tough injuries at an age where his body couldn't keep up with the demands ... that's where me and the rest of the team had different thoughts.
I remember I would go head to head with him, because he doesn't sleep, like he slept 2 or 3 hours a night, and I would be up because we would lose. And when we lose I would be up at 3, 4 watching film. We would be texting at 3 or 4 in the morning, arguing with each other, conflicting with each other.
It got to the point, I told him, this is how it started, 'Look, you're Kobe, I'm coming in trying to learn from you. I'm ok with anything as long as you talk to me like a man in terms of don't talk down to me like a boy talk to me like a man and respect me.' And then, [Kobe] has always said 'Everyone just says what I want them to say, it's very rare that someone actually stands up to me.'
And so for me in that situation as we were going back and forth I finally had enough, that's why I waved him off that one time, too, cuz, you know I've seen... I don't wanna go back down that path again we gotta get something else going we gotta get some ball movement, but basically like after that text message conversation we didn't speak for the last 4 months of the season.
Jeremy Lin mentions that he actually stood up to Kobe Bryant, which was a rarity. A lot of people have heard of the moment where Jeremy Lin waves off Kobe Bryant himself. There is no doubt that it takes a lot of confidence to do that to a generational superstar like Kobe Bryant. Jeremy Lin scored the basket, so the possession ended up in a clear positive.
Kobe Bryant was the ultimate competitor, and one can't shame him for trying to carry his team during the 2014-15 season. It is tough to come back from injury upon injury, and it is regrettable that we ended up missing a few years of Kobe Bryant's prime. It is clear that Jeremy Lin had immense respect for Kobe Bryant as a player as he was willing to learn from him when he came to Los Angeles. There will sometimes be differences of opinion even among teammates, and this is the perfect example to illustrate that.