ESPN's Chris Palmer recently sat down with shaved-head wonder Kobe Bryant to discuss everything from the Mamba's continued aging, to his daily life quirks, to the intricacies that go into developing oneself as one of the greatest basketball players ever to exist. Kobe isn't so much modest as he is brutally honest, and Palmer's approach seems to have extracted one of the better portrayals of a living legend that we've seen in quite sometime. It's all-star piece of work, so definitely take a gander when you have the time. But if you're busy moving through this, the newsfeed, and those bagel bites that are about to be ready, best hit up the sparknotes below.
Kobe seems to have reached some sort of zen, "I'm at peace with the world" moment:
There’s something different about you. You seem so ... calm.
Because I am. That’s just the maturation. That’s 17 years of seeing everything the game can dish out. I’ve seen it all before. There’s no need to get too crazy or bent out of shape. There are still challenges every day. But I’m still having fun. I was born to play this game. I still love it.
He claims he has never felt intimidated on the basketball court.
Never. Not at all. My mind doesn’t work that way. It’s something that’s never even entered my thought process. The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s---less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.
Mamba doesn't think playing LeBron one-on-one would remotely be a contest.
Me. No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it.
He doesn't act like a supreme overlord who's too good to do basic human acts
I do all of life’s daily tasks. The other day my wife and I stopped at 7-Eleven and I pulled up to the pump and I started to pump some gas. She went inside to buy something and was waiting in line. The guy in front of her sees me outside but doesn’t see her. He says, “Man, there’s Kobe Bryant pumping his own gas.” My wife says to the guy, “He wipes his own ass, too.”
She came back out and we had a big laugh about it. We both have the same sense of humor when it comes to stuff like that. But, yeah, I do the same things as everyone else.
He really dug 'Django Unchained,' and would love to work with Quentin Tarantino
The other night I was in my hotel room and couldn’t sleep, so I got up and went across the street to see "Django [Unchained]."...It was genius. Absolutely incredible. Everything by Quentin Tarantino usually is, but this took it to another level. It’s the way he tells a story and the kind of characters he creates. It was crazy violent, but the story is so strong and that’s what you remember.
I know you’re a big Robert Rodriguez fan. He’s from the same maverick filmmaking school as Tarantino. Would you want to work with Tarantino?
That would be incredible. Can you imagine one of my commercials with him?
Dog shit is not his cup of tea.
I hate dog s---. I won’t go near it. So pissed when I step in it. I’ve got four dogs and I just don’t do dog doo. I’m a diva when it comes to that. Back in the day when I was in Italy, I used to order shoes from Nike all the time. I had to have all the fresh joints. I ordered the Elephant Print Jordans that were amazing. I went to the park to play and stepped in a huge pile of dog s---. You wouldn’t believe how mad I was. I was breaking off sticks to try to get it out of the crevices. I smacked them together and scraped the soles on the curb but couldn’t get it all out. Ever since that day I just can’t stand dog crap.
In other news, Nike just dropped this rather strange Kobe ad today, which appears to be relevant to all this Kobeness. His legend will live on forever, apparently. In some weird futuristic way. That's what I'm getting from this at least.