Kobe Bryant is known for a lot of things, but near the top of the list is his relentless trash talk to opponents while on the floor. The Los Angeles Lakers are currently struggling with a record of 2-14, and Bryant is as well, putting up the worst efficiency numbers of his career (15.5 points per game on 30.5% shooting and 20.2% on three pointers). So it only makes sense that given these factors, combined with Bryant's impending retirement potentially leaving some players wondering if he has exchanged his famous "mamba mentality" for a "substitute teacher" one, that current players in the league might try to test Bryant with some trash talk of their own.
As one young, sadly anonymous, member of the Portland Trail Blazers found out during a recent game, that is still not a good idea. Sensing a teaching opportunity, Bryant explained his rules of trash talk to the young man (h/t CJ Fogler):
Kobe talks about a young player in Portland trash talking him pic.twitter.com/fLtPDdU82D— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 30, 2015
Update: the previously unnamed Trail Blazer has been revealed as Luis Montero
Luis Montero confirms that he did indeed say "okay sir" when Kobe told him he wasn't old enough to talk trash.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) November 30, 2015
"Yes sir." Ouch. At least he knew when he was beat. Bryant's interractions with young player's around the league have not been all bad, as he explained when telling the story of a young Detroit Piston who just wanted to meet him (h/t Detroit Bad Boys):
If that leaves you wondering if Bryant is feeling old, the answer is yes:
Kobe on the youth of the Lakers' roster: "I feel like their grandfather. I'm like a triple O.G."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 30, 2015
At least one of his "grandchildren," however, does not see Bryant as too old to make a total career flip and come up with the next new phone or gadget for kid's today to use:
Jordan Clarkson on Kobe's post-basketball plans "You never know. He might come out with a phone or something crazy."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 30, 2015
D'Angelo Russell later went on to say that Bryant might invent "like a new car or something. One with rocket jets, lasers, and massage chairs!" (Note: Russell did not say this, Clarkson just set a very low bar for quotes from the kids tonight)
You know it's time to retire when you start seeing your teammates and competitors like your grandkids. Good call, Kobe.