Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace (FKA Ron Artest) formed a solid tandem in the NBA. In 2009, Artest joined the Lakers as they looked to go back-to-back after their championship win the previous season. Kobe and Artest ended up becoming two of the most pivotal players for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout their 2010 NBA Playoffs run.
And during the NBA Finals, Artest was one of the figures that Kobe relied upon the most in order to help clinch the series for the Lakers. The two had great chemistry with each other and understood each other's game very well. But this wasn't always the case. In fact, just the previous year, the two were in each other's faces during the NBA Playoffs.
In 2009, the Houston Rockets were taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. At the time, Artest was a key member of the Houston Rockets squad which was built around legendary center Yao Ming. During their back-and-forth series, Kobe and Artest would get in each other's face a lot, and trash-talk each other. Both players were putting up strong performances but were bringing their A-game on the trash-talking end of things.
During one of the games, Artest was talking trash to Kobe before he was taking a free throw. Artest presumably insinuated something about Kobe's ability to make free throws, something that Kobe was very amused by. Hilariously, Bryant responded by saying "Oh, so you're a stand-up comedian now?". In the end, Bryant made the free throw, and the Lakers went on to win the series.
But their story wouldn't end there, and only took a turn during the off-season. Artest joined the Lakers and became one of Kobe's most trusted teammates through the course of the season. Winning an NBA championship together can do wonders for the relationship between any two players, and that was definitely the case for Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest.