It is not often that we hear the first-hand experience of Kobe Bryant not being the absolute best at something. There are literally hundreds, if not even thousands, of stories about the Black Mamba dominating both on and off the court. This is why it was really interesting to listen to what Jason Kidd had to say about the time he spent as Kobe’s teammate on the 2008 US basketball Olympic team in China.
"One sport we saw him as a human"
"You talk about Kobe and his competitiveness. It didn't matter how big or small you were, he was going to try and destroy you. That's what separated him from everyone, he was an assassin. He would cut you and by the end of the game you didn't know you were going to bleed out. That's just his mentality. He wanted to win at everything," Kidd said on the ALL THE SMOKE podcast.
Then came the somewhat shocking part about playing golf together.
"We were in Macau and we go to a driving range and Kobe's feeling this is easy... He asked me and goes 'Hey' and Michael Redd was luckily left-handed, so he goes 'Hey, can I borrow that club?' And everybody goes 'You swing left-handed?' So everybody knows he's all messed up. He missed the ball and he gets competitive and wants to hit it the farthest. You said it, that's the one sport we saw him as a human," said Kidd.
NBA players and golf
Matt Barnes, one of the hosts of the podcast, confirmed this with a story of Kobe coming to his golf tournament. Still, it is somewhat mind-blowing to learn that Kobe, well, failed at something. This is especially weird since golf is such a favored form of recreation among NBA players.
Of course, Charles Barkley is the one who made golf popular, but despite spending a lot of time on the course, he was never really able to improve his skill. Maybe the Black Mamba simply decided that there were better ways to entertain and improve himself.
Still, Kobe fans should not be concerned about this minor setback he was faced with. After all, not long after this golf fiasco, Kobe led the US team to Olympic gold, and the following year, in 2009, he won his fourth out of five NBA championships. It's safe to say that Kobe was not worried at all about golf.