Kobe’s Mind Games Prove He’s on Different Level Than Other NBA Superstars

Kobe Bryant's mind games prove that he's on a different level than the rest of the NBA's superstars.

In early December, Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area reported that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had grown tired of Kobe's trash talking. Bucher reported that the theory floating around was that Bryant had attempted to place a divide in their relationship during the 2012 London Olympics.

The art of trash talking returns.

Since then, Kobe has been on an MVP tear, and the Oklahoma City Thunder have earned the second-best record in the Western Conference. It appears as if Kobe's true intentions were able to come to fruition.

Recently, Bucher caught up with Kobe to learn of what those intentions were (via Sulia). Bryant's response was that he was hoping to "kindle in them the competitive spirit that his generation had."

Whether you believe him or not, Bryant had the following to say.

[Kobe] hopes to kindle in them the competitive spirit -- and jawing -- that his generation had. Same goes for going at Kyrie Irving in a similar manner. As for guarding Russ and being complimentary of his game during Olympic training, he says it wasn't to make RW's head big and foment unrest between KD and Russ (despite what some in OKC think) because he has too much respect for both of them. He still wants to kick their respective asses, but he insists that, in his pursuit of that, he's not quite as devious as some might want to believe.

In an era which players would rather join forces than embrace the competitive thrill of defeating one another, one can see the reasoning in Kobe's approach.

Bryant may have the luxury of playing with superstars, but that doesn't mean the competition isn't stiff. Much like those who came before him, Bryant was simply attempting to get into his opponent's head.

Even the beloved Michael Jordan was a trash talker (via YouTube). Don't ever act like he wasn'...

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