EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It's a bit too much to call whatever is taking place between Kobe Bryant and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Smush Parker a feud. War of words seems a bit much, too. This is after all, Kobe Bryant versus Smush Parker.
But whatever it is, this latest "entanglement" between the former teammates has been highly amusing to watch.
It all started up again Wednesday evening when Bryant was in the kind of mood to dish, or rather, playfully diss pretty much anyone in sight as he got treatment on his strained shoulder before the Lakers' exhibition game. Third-year guard Jodie Meeks was his first target.
Asked by reporters how Meeks -- who was starting in his place that night -- had looked in practice, Bryant laughed and said, "I've been murdering that guy" and proceeded to quiz any teammate in sight to see if anyone would disagree with him.
A couple of minutes later in a bit of comedic timing you could never script, Meeks walked up and sat down at the locker next to Bryant. Reporters started asking Meeks about starting in the game while Bryant basically heckled him from two feet away.
Eventually the topic turned to Parker and Bryant cracked, "Smush, was the worst. He shouldn't have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard so we let him walk on and had Tierre Brown back him up."
It didn't take long for the quote to go viral and get back to Parker, who had started all this in the first place a few years ago when he called Bryant "overrated."
Within 12 hours Parker was on an internet radio station based in New York to fire back.
"I'm lost for words," Parker said in the interview. "For my name to still come out of that man's mouth? It makes me blush."
If that were all he said, the story would've probably died there. But of course Parker didn't stop there. And for the next 30 minutes or so he relived his entire Lakers experience -- it was a brief one from 2005 to '07) and dished on Bryant.
"The reason I wasn't a Laker after my second year is because I didn't bow down to [Kobe]," Parker said. "I wasn't kissing his feet. Quite frankly, towards the end of the second season, I stopped passing him the ball. I stopped giving him the ball. I started looking him off."
Bryant had heard about Parker's comments by the time he got to Lakers practice Friday but this time he wasn't in much of a mood to add more kindling to this one.
"There's really not much to say," Bryant said, smiling to let you know he could say plenty more but was choosing not to. "I gave him his little 30 minutes of fame. It's all good. I wish him the best of luck. He's playing in China, right?
"I wish him the best of luck. Maybe he'll get back to the NBA one day, see what it's like up close again."