The NBA Hall of Fame guard has taken a swipe at Kobe Bryant’s critics after the Lakers legend was snubbed for the 2018 class. Payton believes those who slam Bryant should be careful with their words.

The “kobe bryant brother died” is a topic that has been on the headlines recently. The former NBA player, Hall of Fame Guard Gary Payton, had some harsh words for Kobe’s critics.

NBA legends Gary Payton and Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.

NBA legends Gary Payton and Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004. On April 9, 2004, during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Gary Payton (left) of the Los Angeles Lakers stands next to Kobe Bryant. | Getty Images/Lisa Blumenfeld

During his legendary NBA career, Kobe Bryant established himself as one of the best players of all time. Bryant, like any other celebrity, had millions of detractors.

Because of his ball dominance, the Los Angeles Lakers icon was dubbed a “ball hog” or “selfish” by his detractors. Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton, on the other hand, seemed to despise such appraisal of Bryant’s game and demeanor.

Payton recently offered a sharp rebuke to individuals who made the allegations.

Gary Payton reacted angrily to Kobe Bryant’s detractors.

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Gary Payton is most often associated with the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA. In Seattle, he was named to all nine All-Star teams and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1995-96.

Payton did, however, play for a few other clubs towards the conclusion of his career, including the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003-04. That year, the Lakers featured Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and a pair of aging players in Payton and Malone, and they made it to the NBA Finals before falling in five games to the Detroit Pistons.

Payton merely wanted to laud Bryant as a person when asked about his favorite Kobe story lately. He also wanted to say something to Mamba’s detractors.

Payton noted on the June 3 edition of The Old Man and the Three podcast, “He was a fantastic child; great kid.” “A lot of people have the false impression about Kobe. Consider the terms “selfishness” and similar terms. Forget about it. This youngster was a rival. He was nothing more than a competition. And it was the only thing he wanted to do. He aspired to be great, and he achieved it.”

“If he was a butthole and all that, why would he constantly go to the veterans and ask them what he can do to become better?” Payton added. That’s something selfish athletes don’t do. That was my younger sibling. That was a good year for me to go to the Lakers.”

When it comes to Kobe Bryant, the numbers (and titles) don’t lie.

The “selfish” label can only be used to a player who isn’t a winner, which was not the case with Kobe Bryant.

Yes, he averaged 25.0 points per game during his career and twice led the NBA in scoring. With 81 points in a game in 2006, Bryant became the second-highest scorer in NBA history. He did, however, win five championships with the Lakers. When he went to his first four Finals and won three championships with Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant was the backup option, not the starter.

After Shaq departed, he put his ego aside and learned how to play with other players, which led to three more Finals trips and two more championships. How can a player be selfish after winning the most prestigious team honor (an NBA championship) five times in their career and reaching the Finals twice more?

Bryant’s detractors just loathed all of his shots. Their “selfish” accusations had little merit, given that he was one of the best scorers of all time and the ultimate winner.

Kobe Bryant aspired to be great, as Payton put it. And that’s exactly what he turned into.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

Mike D’Antoni, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, makes a direct admission about coaching Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.

The “kobe bryant family” is the most recent target of Hall of Fame Guard Gary Payton’s criticism. The former NBA player has been vocal about Kobe Bryant’s recent comments on his son’s sexual orientation.

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