Kobe Bryant is one of the most influential and important NBA players in league history.
The way he played the game and the impact he had on it cannot be understated.
One person who got a front row seat to Bryant’s exploits was his one-time teammate, later coach and good friend Byron Scott.
Recently, Scott got very honest about Bryant and all he represented.
“He just had a work ethic about him even at 18 that a lot of 18-year-olds don’t have,” Scott said.
“He wasn’t a guy that was going out partying and things of that nature. He had a goal in mind from the day he stepped on the basketball court when he got drafted and that was to be the greatest player that he could possibly be and that’s what he told me ‘I want to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game.'”
That wasn’t the lone fascinating tidbit Scott dropped. He was also lucky enough to be present for Bryant’s final NBA game, and it left quite the impression on him.
“Starting that game the only thing I wanted for Kobe was to have a good game,” Scott said.
“Not a great game just have a good game and he started off 0-5 and I was just standing there going ‘This is just not the way I want for him to go out.’ I think the next time down he gets fouled he goes to the free throw line and hits a couple of free throws and then that basically got him rolling.
“Coaching him for that game and watching this game materialize through the first quarter to the fourth quarter and remembering with like the six-minute mark left he’s at like 40 and I looked up like ‘Oh my god. I can’t believe this. What a way to go out.’… I mean he was that tired and to go back out for the next six minutes and get 20 more points it was just amazing.”
Scott didn’t stop there, though.
“At 37 years old I don’t think we will ever in our lifetime see a performance like that from a guy who’s retiring,” he continued.
“Michael Jordan didn’t have a performance like that. Magic (and) Kareem none of those guys had something where 60 points in your last game it’s just incredible and it was just great to watch it.”
Because Bryant was taken from the world too soon, stories like this are always a treat. The more everyone learns about the Lakers legend, the better.
The real reason Alex Rodriguez is back on the market. https://t.co/z66RDYpU8w
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 6, 2022
Hopefully in the coming months and years more stories about him emerge.
It’s the best way to keep Bryant’s memory alive.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.