Stephen Curry has earned the right to talk to trash to any player he wants. It wasn’t always this way, though. Back when Steph was a rookie, he tried to talk some smack to Kobe Bryant. Needless to say, Kobe didn’t appreciate the effort. Here’s GQ’s Clay Skipper with more, as told to him by Curry:
This being Kobe’s last All-Star game, do you have a favorite Kobe memory?
Our rookie year we were playing at Oracle and they had a 3-point lead down the stretch. He got fouled, going to the free throw line to ice the game with two free throws. As he’s walking from one end of the court to the other, I’m this rookie that’s just kind of living in the moment and I walk up to him as he’s walking to the free throw line: “Hey, man, you nervous about these free throws?” The look he gave me was so just mean and cold. Just like, “What are you talking about? Get out of my face, you dumb rookie.” He obviously made the two free throws and they won. I’ll remember that look he gave me forever.
The picture almost forms in your mind instantly. There’s Steph, scrawny and unproven, trying to be one of the cool kids in the eyes of the cool kid. He gives his best effort, making a joke that’s at least a little funny, and is rewarded with a scathing mean mug the likes of which only Kobe Bryant can accomplish. The mix scorn, hate and whatever the term is for “I’ll crush you and your insignificant soul” in that look must have been terrifying.