Kobe Bryant carried a pretty rough Lakers squad to the postseason in 2006 and 2007. His second-best teammate on those teams was Lamar Odom, who was awesome. The third-best Laker was Smush Parker, who wasn’t quite on the same level as the team’s two alpha dogs.
It didn’t help that Kobe seemed to resent Parker. Ok so “seemed” undersells it – Kobe and Parker did not like each other at all. But that was back in the day, and in 2017, Smush seems like he’s ready to bury the hatchet with Kobe. In fact, the former Lakers guard said he wants to team up with Bryant and Odom on a BIG3 squad.
In a video for TMZ, Parker said he thinks that a Smush-Kobe-Odom squad would “take the whole thing” because they’d be able to bust out the triangle offense. He also believes that Kobe’s leadership, Odom’s all-purpose game, and his sharpshooting, along with the fact that all three dudes play defense, would make them the team to beat.
The best part of the interview, though, came when Parker said that he no longer has issues with Kobe, claiming that the two were “immature versions” of what they are in 2017. In fact, Parker “wholeheartedly, no doubt” believes that the pair could have been the greatest backcourt in Lakers history.
Now, respect to Parker for admitting he could have handled his time in L.A. better, but saying he could have been one half of the Lakers’ best guard duo ever with Kobe is … well, let’s call it a stretch. For example, Magic Johnson and Byron Scott were probably better, as were Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. You can make a pretty decent case for Kobe and Derek Fisher being higher on the list than Kobe and Smush, same for Kobe and, like, Steve Nash for the year that Nash was in Los Angeles. At their best, I am fairly confident that Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would have made for a more formidable backcourt than Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker.
But you have to respect Parker for being this confident in his abilities. And in all seriousness, team Smush-Kobe-Odom in BIG3 would rule. Let’s make this happen.