Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant are names that loom large in the history of the NBA, both prolific scorers in their time and two of the most dynamic and exciting players to play the game. McGrady and Bryant were around the same age too, so it's no surprise that they came up together when they were younger, even playing each other 1-on-1, with Kobe drafted just a year before T-Mac.
There have been many players that have told lovely stories about Bryant and how he took them under their wing as youngsters and showed them the way forward by guiding them. His passing also had a huge impact on the entire NBA community, but only a few people can claim to have known Bryant on a personal level.
McGrady, who stayed with Kobe and his parents when he was just 18 years old in Paris, is one of those people. Speaking on the Alex Kennedy podcast, McGrady spoke about some of the memories he has from that time, revealing how Kobe would spend his time.
(starts at 00:54 minutes):
"I stayed with him and his parents back when I was 18 years old," McGrady said. "All he did was watch these tapes, whether it’s karate flicks, Michael Jordan, home and grown movies like 'Come Play With Me,' 'Come Fly With Me,' 'Playground.' He loved Karate flicks. Just to be around that and go through his career and what he became, just an icon and such an inspiration to a generation of people."
Kobe Bryant idolized Michael Jordan and spent a lot of his time trying to emulate the greatest to ever do it, so this is no surprise. His passion for media is also something that had started to become apparent in his brief post-retirement career. Considering that he was taken away from the NBA community in such an untimely manner, stories like these will put a smile on the faces of every NBA fan that had the pleasure of watching Kobe compete.