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Iconic Photo From 1996 Shows Kobe Bryant, Rip Hamilton, Stephen Jackson, And Mike Bibby Hanging Out

Iconic Photo From 1996 Shows Kobe Bryant, Rip Hamilton, Stephen Jackson, And Mike Bibby Hanging Out

Players in the NBA have to work extremely hard to make it there. Players all over the United States and the world in order to reach the NBA, and oftentimes, it is possible that players don't end up ever reaching the league. 

Playing high school and collegiate basketball is still the most conventional route, and it can allow for encounters with fellow players who go on to make history in the NBA. 

And that is exactly what happened at McDonald's All-American Week in 1996. The picture below shows Kobe Bryant, Rip Hamilton, Stephen Jackson, and Mike Bibby hanging out together during the weekend, and each of these players would go on to have a storied legacy in the NBA.

Mike Bibby • Jerald Brown • Kobe Bryant • Stephen Jackson • Richard “Rip” Hamilton

McDonald’s All-American Week

1996

The class of ‘96 followed up the ‘95 roster with talent in the McDonald's All-American Game, and there could not have been as much history between these four players. From AAU to the league, each of them had affected one another when it came to competing with another, elbows to the head, finals matchups, possible “rigged” games, championships, all-star appearances, a podcast reminiscing of these days as young men embarking on their journeys. Mike Bibby would go to Arizona and hand out buckets and be one of the forefathers of the PE colorways and the foams, Stephen Jackson would be the “real” MVP of the All-American Game and take his road into becoming a champion role player on a dynasty, Rip Hamilton would continue onto UConn and help push CT basketball to higher heights and what Ray Allen did the previous season, and the young man in the striped shirt as we know would start in a few months create a legacy that will be felt till the end of time. Peace to Mike Bibby, Jarled Brown, Kobe, Stephen Jackson, and Rip Hamilton.

Mike Bibby went on to go play for the Arizona Wildcats, and become a sensation there. Upon entering the NBA, there were high hopes for Bibby. While he became a fan favorite player, he didn't reach quite the heights that his fellow players in the picture did. Regardless, he found success in college, winning an NCAA Championship.

As for Stephen Jackson, he went on to establish himself as a key player in the NBA. Despite failing to make it into the NBA upon being drafted, he eventually found himself in San Antonio, where he was a reliable role player in their 2003 NBA championship win. He spent the rest of his career trying to fill the same role.

Rip Hamilton won an NBA championship during his career and became a 3-time All-Star during his tenure. He was part of the 2004 Detroit Pistons team, which was a true underdog story, and one of the best stories in the NBA that has ever seen. He got to beat one of the other players in this picture in the NBA Finals too.

Kobe Bryant might be the only player in the picture who needs no career summary. A 5-time NBA champion, former MVP, multiple-time All-Star, and one of the greatest players in NBA history. Kobe was the youngest in this picture, but was also the first one to make it to the NBA, and become a superstar in the league.