“Then in the fourth quarter, he started punishing him,” Scott says. “All of a sudden, Maxwell was asking guys to come help double him and Magic said, ‘No, you don’t need no help. Stay down here and get this ass whippin’ I’m going to give you.’ And that’s what he gave him.”
With the exception of Bryant and Boston’s Kevin Garnett, most of those players are long gone, having been replaced with a sterile, antiseptic generation of players who often meet on the AAU circuit, become fast friends in college and are all best buddies before even entering the league.
Walton is in his 10th season and said Bryant is easily the best trash talker he’s been around, although players like Garnett and Rasheed Wallace belong in the conversation. During one game between the Pistons and Lakers a few years ago, Wallace called one of Walton’s Lakers teammates “Borat” in reference to actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s popular movie character. Walton wouldn’t give up whom Wallace was referring to, but admitted all of the Lakers couldn’t stop laughing.
Walton was a teammate of Bryant’s for nearly nine seasons in Los Angeles and said Bryant is ruthless in practice.
“He’s so good at it because trash talking gets you mad as a competitor, and then he’ll just roast you as he’s talking trash,” Walton says. “Most people, you can go hard and shut them down a little bit. But someone like Kobe, he starts running his mouth and you’re just on an island like, ‘Oh this is going to be a long day.’”
The relatively easygoing Walton, surprisingly, loves to talk trash and has received his fair share of fines and technical fouls for it. Players are fined $2,000 for each of their first five technicals, then it escalates to $3,000 for each of the next five.