Former Laker guard Smush Parker, who’s been out of the NBA since 2007-08, will forever be known as the guy that Kobe Bryant loved to yell at. Kobe himself even stated that Parker never had any business being in the league back in 2012.
“Smush Parker was the worst,” Bryant said before an exhibition in 2012, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times. “He shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. We let him walk on.”
Parker made 82 appearances over his first two seasons in the league, which he split between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns. He signed with the Lakers in 2005.
Fast forward to 2023 and the former guard is now trying to get back in the NBA, but not as a player.
At age 41, Parker is now working his way toward becoming an NBA game official. Parker had previously shared pictures to Instagram of himself at referee camp as well as working games in The Basketball League (TBL), an independent pro league.
Parker played 274 games in his career, averaging 9.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.