What better way to remember Kobe Bryant on this day than to revisit some of the most touching stories people have shared about him?
Today is a sad day for sports fans everywhere as it marks one year since we lost the legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi. Even if you weren’t a fan of the NBA or cheered for the Lakers’ opponents, you respected Kobe. Kobe stood for something that inspired people around the world: the Mamba Mentality. The idea that you should strive to be better every day and if you aren’t, you are literally cheating yourself and the people around you. The best way to remember Kobe today is by the memories and stories told by those closest to him.
The first story has to be Kobe’s introduction to the Lakers team at the very beginning of his career; a funny story of everyone introducing themselves and telling a little bit about themselves. Kobe’s introduction was different and set the tone for the next 20 years with Bryant, letting everyone know there won’t be any disrespect toward him from anyone in the NBA. He even ended with, “so be warned.”
Michael Jordan has always been a private person, even down to who he hangs out with. The only time we’ve even heard about personal fallouts or friends is Charles Barkley revealing he doesn’t know why they aren’t friends anymore and of course, MJ didn’t respond to enlighten him, either.
Last year, during Kobe’s memorial, MJ finally opened up and told the story of his friendship with Kobe and how the Lakers legend became like a little brother to him. Even when he would get frustrated with the late-night texts, MJ knew Kobe only wanted to get better.
“What You On, Bro?”
Kobe was always a monster on the court–no one will ever deny this fact. Iman Shumpert recently told a story during his tenure with the Knicks of doing his thing against the Lakers while guarding Kobe and dominating for three quarters. Before the fourth quarter, however, Kobe–after ignoring his trash talk the whole game–gave him a very confusing compliment: “You had a good game.” Iman was confused because there was an entire quarter left of basketball. Soon, he found out what it all meant as Kobe swiftly changed his mind on what it was like to guard Kobe in real-time. It’s a great story for the ages.
When Kobe passed, he was on the way to a game for the team he was coaching that included his daughter Gigi. A story from the LA Times detailed several stories of people who were apart of the team and even rival coaches that painted the picture of post-retirement Kobe. Even with everything he accomplished on the court, his post NBA life seemed to be what made him the happiest and fit him best, according to everyone familiar with the legend. You can read the entire profile here.
We could be here all day with individual stories, so below, you can watch the best compilation of Kobe stories from Dwyane Wade, Jayson Tatum, Coach K, D’Angelo Russell, and more.