Kobe Bryant
We might have a new all-time Kobe Bryant story. Kobe may have been responsible for purposely poisoning Russell Westbrook’s playing style. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

A low basketball IQ and inefficient jump shot have ruined what otherwise could have been an electric point guard. I have won the Russell Westbrook argument. It’s not worth debating anymore. It would be like trying to argue gravity. It’s been proven that it exists. Pick a new topic to discuss.

What I didn’t expect to find out is where the root of Westbrook’s problems came from. Is Kobe Bryant to blame? Bryant purposely tried to poison Westbrook’s playing style by pitting him against Kevin Durant to give the Lakers an advantage. Bryant might no longer be with us, but somehow his impact still resonates.

During the 2012 Olympics, Kobe would not stop trash-talking Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant led the NBA in scoring, and the Thunder was fresh off a trip to the Finals after beating the Lakers in the second round. Kobe began trying to poison Westbrook’s relationship with Durant.

VIA Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

In 2012, what I remember with Kobe was he spent a lot of the – or he spent some of that – Olympics with Russell Westbrook telling Russ, “You know, you should be winning scoring titles. I don’t know why you’re letting Kevin win scoring titles. You should be the one winning them.” Anything he could do to plant a little seed of dissent with two teammates, it was pretty funny.

The funny thing is it worked! Westbrook began jacking up terrible shots and becoming a ball hog. Durant started to hate him and his playing style, proceeding to bolt from OKC.

Westbrook took Kobe’s words to heart. Westbrook became the worst three-point shooter in the NBA and continued to shoot them. There are many great Kobe stories, but I’m not sure it gets better than this. Kobe single handily ruined Westbrook.