February 16, 2010
In the March issue of GQ (on newsstands February 23), writer J.R. Moehringer — he of The Los Angeles Times and Andre Agassi's new memoir "Open" — sits down with Lakers star Kobe Bryant to discuss his many injuries, going to the Olympics, and his famously volatile relationship with Shaq.
TrueHoop has a list of reasons why the article is a must-read, including this spot-on passage about how people react to seeing Bryant:
"Passengers and pilots in the airport stare. They don't bother to pretend they're not staring. They stare with eyes and mouths wide open, faces frozen, like victims of a Taser or a taxidermist."
I witnessed the rock star stares first-hand at NBA Jam Session over the weekend; grown men and women were nearly in tears about having touched Bryant's windbreaker as he strolled over to the 2K Sports booth to hand out novelty-sized checks and to chat with The Jones. It was surreal.
But if that's not enough to get you to click over, here are few more Kobe quotes:
On being surrounded by the best of the best athletes at the Olympics: "I felt like Harry Potter going to Hogwarts."
On his relationship with Shaq: "The biggest mistake I made was responding to what he was saying about me. Once I responded, now that made it seem like I was part of that whole thing. It's like, Okay, these two are against each other. As opposed to just staying quiet, which is what I've been doing the last few years. Let him say what he needs to say."
And finally, this hilarious exchange on how Kobe's win-at-all-costs mind-set does carry over to the rest of his life:
"What people see on court is another side of me; it's not me. That dark side that's coming to get you — ha ha! I'm not losing this [expletive] game — that's not who I am. That's part of me. Off the court, I'm completely different."
In almost the same breath he admits that a simple game of Cranium with his wife can turn into guerrilla warfare.
Cranium? The kids' board game? With Sensosketches and Cloodles?
He purses his lips, nods his head slowly: No joke.