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Gary Payton Remembers Kobe Bryant’s Huge Plans For Women’s Basketball: "A Young Man Who Was Only 41 Years Old, Was About To Change Women’s Basketball And This Happens.”

Gary Payton Remembers Kobe Bryant’s Huge Plans For Women’s Basketball: "A Young Man Who Was Only 41 Years Old, Was About To Change Women’s Basketball And This Happens.”

Gary Payton's most iconic years were spent with the Seattle Supersonics. The 9x All-Star was a machine on the defensive end of the floor thanks to his amazing ability to steal the ball with ease.

But even after spending 13 seasons with the franchise, Payton failed to win an NBA Championship with the Supersonics. In hopes of changing that, Payton, alongside Karl Malone, joined the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers, at the time, already had an incredible duo of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Kobe and Shaq had already proved their worth by completing a three-peat with the Lakers. So when Payton and Malone joined the team, it gave birth to a superteam.

Unfortunately, the superteam didn't work well as the Lakers failed to win an NBA Championship with the star-studded roster. Even though Payton parted ways with the Lakers after one season, it seems like he still kept in touch with the Mamba.

When Bryant passed away back in 2020, Payton was understandably inconsolable upon learning about it. Even after more than two years, it seems like the pain of losing Kobe will never go away for Payton and most of us.

Recently Payton appeared in an interview where he talked about Kobe and what the Los Angeles Lakers icon had planned for the future of women's basketball.

"A young man who was only 41 years old, was about to change women’s basketball and this happens. And it’s still a shock to me after two years that he’s gone and it’s coming up on a two-year anniversary real soon here. I got so many pictures up of him now in my house. That is crazy. I got all the books that’s still down there and all that. It’s like, I don’t know, I would have seen him a lot of more times."

(starts at 1:45)

When talking about Kobe and his death, Payton was unable to control his tears. This once again proves how much of an impact did losing Bryant had on him.

Speaking of what he said about the Mamba's plans, it was a well-known fact that Kobe was a family man and loved his daughters more than anymore. Keeping that in mind, it's not a surprise that the Lakers legend was working towards further improving women's basketball too.