After 20 years in the NBA, Kobe Bryant decided to clos ethat chapter of his life in 2016, officially retiring from pro-basketball.
But after all those years, the end did not come without a textbook full of moments and memories. On Episode 11 of All The Smoke Podcast, Basketball, Kobe Bean shared some of those moments, describing life with Shaq and the Lakers, Michael Jorden, and low moments of his legendary tenure.
Kobe separates who he is on the court from who he is at home. He’s a different beast when it came time to lace them up, and he made that fact quite clear.
Upon reflecting on his time with the Lakers, Kobe was asked about the “low” moment of his career. He responded with several stories. He listed losing to the Celtics in ’08 as “tough,” and not playing in the early years of his career as frustrating. Kobe admitted that it was an injury to Rick Fox during the 1998-99 season that finally gave him the chance he needed. After starting that season, he didn’t come off the bench again.
The conversation transitions when Matt Barnes asks Kobe about personal growth, to which Bryant delivered another interesting answer. Apparently, he learned how to “connect” the team more between his three-peat and back-to-back CHips on the backside of his career. According to Kobe, Shaq was the one who did that during their partnership in the early 2000s.
Towards the end, Bryant talks about his conversations with MJ, because there were apparently several that happened off-camera. Jordan apparently likes to talk about a matchup his Bulls team with Kobe’s Lakers squad, and the two go back-and-forth with the trash talk. It’s honestly a really cool peek into an interaction between the stars.
Bearing everything in mind, it’s clear that Kobe was a student of the game just as much as he was a star. He was learning and growing all throughout his tenure. It was a common theme throughout the segment. And though who he was as a basketball player was ruthless and often misunderstood, it has never defined who he is as a person.
Check out the full video for additional details from Bryant about life, basketball, and a while lot more.