Los Angeles Lakers fans from the mid-2000s will be very familiar with Smush Parker. Apart from being the starting point guard for the Lakers for two seasons, Parker was also well known for being a bit of a nemesis of the late, great Kobe Bryant. Let’s just say that the Lakers icon wasn’t very fond of Parker, and Kobe wasn’t shy about letting his true feelings known.
Right now, however, roughly 16 years since he last played in the NBA, Smush Parker is working toward a return to the league. At 41, the former Fordham standout isn’t going to be suiting up as a player anymore. Parker is now working his way toward becoming an NBA game official:
16-year NBA veteran Smush Parker is working towards a career as a NBA official 🙌
(via @SmushParker21, @madehoops) pic.twitter.com/rMJnk5YEUj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2023
Smush has clearly put on some weight since his retirement, but he definitely looks fit enough to be a referee in the NBA. By the looks of it, he’s working his way up to the big league by working as a referee for some other leagues. We just hope we see this man back in the NBA soon.
Parker played all 164 games for the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. He started all but two of those games, too. During that span, Parker averaged 11.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per contest. He played for five other teams in the league as well, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
As for Kobe, it is clear that Parker didn’t really leave a good impression on the fallen icon during their time together as teammates. To be fair, this was during the less successful years of the Kobe Bryant era in LA, and he didn’t really have the best team around him at that point in time.