"At times, no," Bryant told Barstool's Red Line Radio podcast. "It really got to me sometimes, the stuff I was hearing. I think I talked about this a little bit, like 2018, the first trade rumors that started to pop up. That really got to me. And I found myself (thinking) 'man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?' Because it was fun.
"Obviously, there's a lot of other stuff involved. You make a ton of money and there's fame and all this, but it's like you gotta get yourself back to why I started playing."
Those trade rumors haven't gone away, either - Bryant and several other Cubs stars have seen their names pop up as potential trade chips this offseason as the team attempts to slash payroll. The club has already traded ace Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres and still may not be done.
The 29-year-old is also coming off a rough season where he hit .206 in 34 games while dealing with an oblique injury. His struggles opened him up to criticism on social media.
"I don't give a shit," Bryant said in September. "I really don't. That's a good answer. I'm over it. Sometimes I go out there and go 4-for-4 and it's not good enough for some people, so I don't give a shit."
Despite the noise, struggles, frustrations, and lingering injuries, Bryant said he's doing what he can to find enjoyment.
"I found myself sitting there, 'I don't have that joy right now,'" he said on the podcast. "So I'm trying all I can to kind of get back to that place."
Bryant was an All-Star in 2019, hitting .282/.382/.521 with 31 home runs in 147 games before his down season in 2020.
The three-time All-Star and former NL MVP is set to hit free agency after the 2021 season.
With h/t to ESPN