The last time Gordon Hayward saw Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on the basketball court, the five-time NBA champion dropped 60 points on his beloved Utah Jazz in the 2015-16 season finale at the Staples Center.
Apparently, Kobe’s finale left an impression on the Jazz star with Hayward reaching out to Bryant for guidance shortly after Bryant’s historic send-off.
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, Hayward wanted to take the next step forward in developing his game and become a master of the midrange like Bryant, so he had the opportunity to spend a week with the Lakers icon:
He quietly reached out to Kobe Bryant to see if the retired superstar might tutor him on the art of the midrange. He ended up spending a week with Bryant in Newport Beach. “He’s one of the best to ever do it,” Hayward said, “and it was one of my best weeks ever.”
Hayward is one of many current NBA stars that have wanted to soak up the knowledge from the future Hall of Famer. In fact, Bryant probably gets contacted regularly by players looking to improve their game, especially with Kobe likely have more time to mentor interested players with his playing days now over.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Bryant was seeking advice from NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon on how to improve his already polished post moves.
Along with NBA stars from other teams, Kobe has helped Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Jordan Clarkson during their first couple of years in the league.
Needless to say, Bryant is a source of knowledge that many respect and Hayward likely won’t be the last player reaching out to the retired superstar in the years to come.