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Kobe Bryant Called Smush Parker the Worst, So Let’s Check if He Really Was

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michael-garcia - October 12, 2012

Kobe Bryant is no fan of his former teammate Smush Parker. After last night's preseason game in which Kobe didn't suit up, he was asked about the current Lakers roster compared to a couple of lean years back from 2005 through 2007. Kobe pretty much laughed about who he was surrounded with. Just check out his quotes from the Orange County Register.

I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team," Bryant said before Wednesday's 93-75 exhibition loss to Portland. "I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown?

Good point. But Kobe saved his best for Parker. Remember, they haven't played together in five years, and Parker's been out of the NBA since finishing the '07-08 season with the Clippers. 

Let's take a look at what Bryant had to say about Parker, whom he called 'the worst.'

He shouldn't have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.

Ouch. Calling someone the worst though is a pretty bold statement. So let's take a look at Parker's career and see if he really was. I'm sure plenty of Laker fans are just agreeing after living through the Smush era, but the truth often lies in the numbers.

In his two years as the Lakers' point guard, Parker played all 164 games and started all but two of them. Durability is a good quality. Parker played 33.8 minutes a game in '05-06 season, then 30 per in '06-'07.

Parker averaged 11.3 points per game over those two seasons and about 3.3 assists. That's not very good for a point guard to average under 4 assists. He also shot in the low 40 percent range from the field and turned the ball over about twice a game.

As I was looking up all these stats from basketball-reference.com, I noticed that they have a table comparing Parker to players with similar stats. Here are some of those names: Walt Kirk, Jeff Teague, and Matt Maloney. Remember those guys? Didn't think so.

Here's another point to consider; Parker played 164 games with the Lakers and over the course of seven other seasons with other teams, he played a total of 154 games. So maybe Kobe was spot on when he said that L.A. just let Parker 'walk on' because they didn't want to pay for a top notch PG.

So is Parker 'the worst?' Probably not, but he could definitely be in the conversation. He had middling numbers over his two seasons with L.A., but not mind blowingly bad. If you're wondering why Kobe hates Parker so much, more than likely it's because Parker trashed him after his time in L.A. was over. Kobe is a great basketball player, but he's also a world-class grudge holder.

This video is from 2009, and not only does Smush say Kobe was the root of every problem in Lakerland, Parker thought he was going to be back in the NBA, which is kind of funny.

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