Kobe Bryant was a ruthless teammate, who did whatever it took to motivate his Laker troops.
The Black Mamba recalls the time he hung his 2008 Olympic Gold Medal—which he’d won with Team USA in a bitterly-fought war against Spain—in Pau Gasol‘s locker.
Gasol didn’t appreciate the gesture, naturally, but Bryant evidently believes it helped kick up his game (and attitude) a notch.
Per Kobe’s chat with Lewis Howes (via reddit):
“Pau hates it every time I tell this story,” Bryant recalls. “He hates it.
“So now we come back to start training camp and Pau shows up first day of training camp, I have my gold medal hanging in his locker.
“The one thing he truly, truly love is his country. That is like everything to him. So it just drove him crazy.
“He said ‘You’re an asshole!’
“I said, ‘Listen Pau, you lost to the Celtics, you lost to us in the gold-medal match, let’s not make this three in a row this year. Let’s win this thing.’ That was it for him. Pau was a phenomenon to begin with. For him, it was just stepping up a level of physicality, that we needed him to get to, which he did and we went on to win back-to-back championships.”