Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was probably the hardest working player in NBA history. He used to give his best every time out and he would expect nothing less from his teammates. That’s why he was so hard on them in practice and in games as he wanted to win at any cost. Even Maria Sharapova’s Ex-Boyfriend was not spared by the Black Mamba.
Sasha” Vujačić is a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was selected 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 draft. He is known for hitting 2 clutch free throws in the dying second of Game 7 of the 2010 NBA finals. Kobe was hard on him, and that made Sasha tough. In fact, an old video of Kobe resurfaced where he was seen teaching a lesson to Sasha in practice.
Kobe Bryant asks Sasha not to touch him in a scrimmage
The video is of an old scrimmage of the Lakers. Sasha was guarding Kobe and the Black Mamba had a few words to say. He elbowed him in the body twice and he said,“Get your hands off me, don’t touch me the rest of the scrimmage.” Sasha responded by pushing Kobe back. This was all in good spirits as Kobe winked at an assistant coach who asked them to calm down.
Kobe was testing Sasha, and he wanted to become a fierce competitor. He wanted to see what he was made of. Kobe knew Sasha was going to be a vital piece, and he wanted to mentally prepare him for any challenges. He did not want him to break down if he faced anything difficult. This was how Kobe strengthened his teammates.
In fact, Kobe did this on the advice of another legend. It was none other than his idol, Michael Jordan. Kobe had asked Jordan how to handle a teammate like Sasha. Jordan asked him to be tough on him. He asked him to be an a–h-le. When asked about the conversation, Jordan said, “Sometimes you have to be an a–hole. Sometimes your teammates are going to hate you,”
Both these legends were serial winners, and they were hard on their teammates. Perhaps that is the reason that their teams were tough and won so many titles. Those elbows have hurt Sasha, but that made him better. He was mentally prepared and in game 7 of the Finals, his moment came. And he did not flinch from the challenge. He stepped up to knock down 2 crucial free throws and sealed Kobe’s 5th title.