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Rip Hamilton was one of the best shooting guards of his era. He won the championship with the 2004 Pistons. Hamilton matched up against Kobe Bryant in the 2004 NBA Finals and was one of the players consistently giving him trouble on the defensive end. The Pistons were a solid defensive team and massive underdogs against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Recently, Rip Hamilton has come on to the Real Ones podcast and shared details about his first high school matchup against Kobe Bryant. Needless to say, even back then, Bryant was extremely focused on winning.

Rip Hamilton details how Kobe Bryant beat his high school team. Hamilton also talks about Bryant’s work ethic, and his determination to get to the league. That separated him from his peers back then, even from someone who eventually became an All-Star like Hamilton.

Once that ball was thrown up man, I held my own, but that man gave us the business. I mean rest in peace to Kobe Bryant but he gave us the business.

We also played in the same AAU team so we were actually roommates and we were able to actually not just play against each other but become really, really good friends.

Off the court Kobe was all business, he was serious at like 16 years old which was crazy to me.

He was like ‘Hey Rip, when I get to the NBA, you see those superstar guys out there in my position. I’m a dog. He was like, ‘you know what, I’m ready for the league’ and boy when he got there he definitely showed everybody why he was ready.

Rip Hamilton praises the Mamba’s working mentality, and his determination to reach a superstar level. Kobe Bryant was one of the most iconic stars in Los Angeles, and many people consider him the greatest Laker of all-time. Kobe Bryant’s death affected many in Los Angeles, and it is nice to hear good stories about the legend. Bryant definitely did show everyone why he was ready for the league when he got there.

Kobe Bryant’s mentality was unmatched, and that’s why he became a superstar. He maximized his talent by working hard and reaped the rewards by winning five championships. Kobe Bryant’s a legend, and it’s unsurprising to hear about him dominating in his youth.

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