Metta World Peace tells story about Kobe Bryant’s competitiveness in practice
There’s nothing like a good Kobe Bryant practice story and who better to tell it than Metta World Peace. The NBA enforcer, who joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2009 as an unrestricted free agent, recently spoke about how fierce Bryant was in practices back in the day.
Before he signed with the Lakers, World Peace had an intense rivalry with Bryant. That conflict presented itself numerous times in practices when LA head coach Phil Jackson would have Bryant and World Peace on opposing teams.
“The first couple of practices we were playing each other but the coach stopped that quick because we were super competitive,” World Peace told Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints, as highlighted in the season finale of the Lakers’ docuseries “The Final Ring.”
“Playing against Kobe in practice gets too personal and you can’t focus on the task. The task was beating the other team not beating each other [up].”
Just like his childhood idol Michael Jordan, Bryant never took any days off and oftentimes treated practices as if they were games. It’s why the Lakers legend established himself as an icon in the NBA. What he brought to the practice floor was exactly what he brought to the real games.
Behind the stellar play of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, the Lakers won the 2010 championship over the Boston Celtics in seven games, with Bryant winning Finals MVP for the second straight season and World Peace finally capturing his first NBA title.
Bryant and World Peace started out as rivals in the NBA, but they ultimately became very close off the court and helped each other grow as players on the court.