Whether it’s part of his schtick or not, Kobe is usually pretty blunt when talking to the media. After he laid waste to the Jazz in an exhibition game last night (31 points in 29 minutes), Bryant was asked about the struggles of the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez by reporters hoping that Kobe would give them some Kobe-ness for their stories.
Here’s what Bryant told reporters of a phone conversation he had the other night with A-Rod – he of a .143 in the ALCS and .130 with no RBI in the entire playoffs:
“We spoke a couple of days ago,” Bryant said of Rodriguez, whom he befriended on the set of a commercial a few years ago. “You can only control what you can control. You go out there and do the best job you can. If they take you out of the lineup, it’s really on you to be a good teammate and support the other guys, which he’s good about doing.”
But that’s not exactly what Bryant said when he called Rodriguez, who was benched for Game 3 on Tuesday night because he’s hit .143 in the ALCS and .130 in the playoffs with no RBIs.
No, that conversation went more like this:
“I just say to him, ‘You’re Alex Rodriguez. You’re A-Rod. You’re one of the best to ever do it,’” Bryant said. “I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, ‘Hell with it’ and just do your thing.
“Hopefully the next game they’ll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he’ll do.”
And then this gem:
“We’re different. But you’re talking about, ‘He’s one of the best to ever play.’ I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he’s the best. … Where, I don’t.”
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