The wit, wisdom and words of Kobe

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This originally ran on Aug. 23, 2015 -- Kobe Bryant's 37th birthday -- and has been brought back for his 38th birthday.

He has been funny, savage, wise and defensive, but most of all, Kobe Bryant has often been candid. To celebrate his birthday, we curated a list of his best quotes. Each provides a look into what makes the Mamba, well, the Mamba. Enjoy.

1. April 13, 2016: "Mamba out."

2. Feb. 18, 2015: "I've shot too much from the time I was 8 years old. But 'too much' is a matter of perspective. Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary."

3. March 21, 2011: "We don't hang divisions."

4. December 1997: "When I have the chance to guard Michael Jordan, I want to guard him. I want him. It's the ultimate challenge."

5. Upon joining Twitter:

6. March 31, 2014, on Shaquille O'Neal: "It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy. You got to have the responsibility of working every single day. You can't skate through s---."

7. Jan. 17, 2013: "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."

8. Live-tweeting a Lakers game after tearing his Achilles tendon:

9. Feb. 16, 2015, on being forced to retire if his hand fell off: "Even then, you could still play with one hand."

10. Nov. 16, 2014, after scoring 44 points on 34 shots in 31 minutes during a Lakers blowout loss: "I'd rather not have to do that, but you can't sit back and watch crime happen in front of you."

11. Nov. 1, 2014: "Because I don't want chumps, I don't want pushovers, and if you're a chump and a pushover, I will run over you."

12. After scoring 38 in a win over the Mavericks, and in response to Dallas owner Mark Cuban openly suggesting the Lakers could amnesty Bryant:

13. March 5, 2014: "Take it all in. Sit back and watch and listen and hear all the hate that's being thrown at us and remember every person that's kicking you when you're down, because next year it ain't gonna be this way. Appreciate it now. Let it sit in now, because revenge is sweet and it's quick."

14. Jan. 18, 2013, on LeBron James asserting that the 2012-13 Lakers would never experience the level of scrutiny his Miami Heat did: "What does it matter? What does he want, a cookie for that?"

15. Feb. 18, 2015: "I was like a wild horse that had the potential to become Secretariat, but who was just too f---ing wild. So part of that was [Phil Jackson] trying to tame me."

16. Catching up on July's Emoji battle:

17. Oct. 12, 2012: "Smush Parker was the worst. He shouldn't have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. ... I was shooting 45 times a game [in 2007]. What was I supposed to do? Pass it into Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown?"

18. June 18, 2012, on Kevin Durant's ceiling: "A 6-11 me."

19. May 2012: "I don't give a [expletive] what you say. If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, 'Kobe choked,' or 'Kobe is seven-for-whatever in pressure situations.' Well, [expletive] you."

20. June 2010, after winning his fifth title: "I just got one more than Shaq. So you can take that to the bank."

21. Oct. 16, 2014, after ESPN ranked him the 40th-best player in the NBA: "I've known for a long time they're a bunch of idiots. ... I tend to use things as motivation that tend to be in the realm of reality."

22. August 2014: "I would go 0-for-30 [from the floor] before I would go 0-for-9. [An] 0-for-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game. ... The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself."

23. Defending LeBron's high usage rate in the 2015 NBA Finals:

24. Dec. 14, 2014, on his warm reception for passing Jordan on the all-time scorer list: "I'm used to being the villain, so to have moments like that, like when you're not expecting a hug and you get a hug, you're like, 'Man, this actually feels pretty damn good.'"

25. March 12, 2014: "I feel like killing everybody every time I go to the arena."

26. June 28, 2015: "There's certain players that I've made cry. If I can make you cry by being sarcastic, then I really don't want to play with you in the playoffs."

27. April 28, 2008: "Better learn not to talk to me. You shake the tree, a leopard's gonna fall out."

28. Jan. 3, 2013, on why the Lakers looked tired: "'Cause we're old as s---. What do you want?"

29. April 29, 1996: "Hi, I'm Kobe Bryant. And I have decided to take my talent to, uh... I have decided to skip college and take my talent to the NBA."


31. Nov. 21, 2012, on Grinnell's Jack Taylor scoring 138 points in one game: "Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is; some people would, some people wouldn't. They can all kiss my a-- as I'm sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to f--- off."

32. April 13, 2013: "All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I've done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I'm supposed to come back from this and be the same player or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that?? I have NO CLUE. Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing? Maybe I should break out the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that was. Maybe this is how my book ends. Maybe Father Time has defeated me...Then again maybe not!"


34. Jan. 17, 2013: "I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn't even close. Ask him, he'll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of 1-on-1 to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn't play anymore."

35. March 18, 2013: "Boos don't block dunks."

36. May 2006, on the older Raja Bell: "Does he know me? Do I know this guy? I don't know this guy. I might have said one word to this guy. I don't know this kid. I think he overreacts to stuff. ... I don't know this kid. I don't need to know this kid. I don't want to. We go out there, we play the game and leave it at that. Maybe he wasn't hugged enough as a kid. I look at him a little bit, he gets a little insecure or something. I don't know."

37. March 8, 2013: "I don't f--- with bees, man. Other than that, I'm not afraid of nothing."

38. Jan. 5, 2012: "It's an intentional pass to oneself, so it's an assist. That way people can't say all I do is shoot."

And one to grow on:

June 28, 2015: "Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever."