For many years, Chris Kaman manned the middle for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Unfortunately for Kaman, the vast majority of those years were spent floundering towards the bottom of the standings where he watched Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers become the toast of the city.
Bryant’s success along with his competitive spirit didn’t exactly endear himself to Kaman, who said he hated Bryant for a long time.
Per ESPN Los Angeles:
Obviously you were in the same city as Kobe for a long time, but seeing him up close, being a teammate, how would you describe that experience so far?
I always hated him. When you play against a guy like him, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, you don’t like them because they’re so competitive. I respect that, but I don’t like playing against them. But when you’re on their team, it’s a whole different story. You love the people. They’re good guys.
Kobe, he’s just been working hard trying to get himself ready. He comes to practice and he works his butt off. I respect that as well. I’m excited for him to play. I’m hoping sooner than later.
Sounds like ‘hate’ might be too strong of a word here for Kaman as he doesn’t exactly sound like he held that large of a grudge, so maybe envious might be a better term.