The NBA is a much friendlier league than it used to be. Guys hug and shake hands before and after games. This remains a foreign concept to Kobe Bryant, who came into the L when there was legitimate beef between players and teams. In a long, fun Q&A with ESPN, Bryant laments that someone like LeBron James won’t talk back on the court to him: “The longevity of (Paul) Pierce and (Kevin Garnett), said Kobe, has provided some perspective in their long and often heated competitions. ‘If there’s one Celtic that tries to talk smack to me, it will be Paul,’ Kobe reported. “We’re similar in age, have been through some of the same things, so he feels like he can try. But he’s not as good at it as I am. I don’t talk trash often, but when I do, I go for the jugular.’ The camaraderie of today’s NBA players, fueled, in part, by their AAU alliances, is mildly disturbing to Bryant, who preferred it when the enemy was anyone who didn’t ride the team bus with you to the game. ‘They don’t seem to want to talk any trash,’ Kobe shrugged. ‘I say everything to LeBron. He says nothing back. He just laughs. There’s no banter back and forth. I guess it’s a generational thing. When I first came into the league, the trash talk was downright cutthroat.’”