In just a couple of weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers will forever immortalize the legendary Kobe Bryant by raising his Nos. 8 and 24 jerseys into the Staples Center rafters. Of course, Kobe had a major impact not just on the Lakers, but the NBA as a whole.
He was always willing to give advice or work with anyone who asks him. Kobe recently met with Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, but he is far from the only player. One in player who’s been particularly impacted by the five-time champion is Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker.
Booker’s former coach Earl Watson recently appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and spoke about Kobe’s ongoing impact on the league, and Booker specifically:
“You have Russell Westbrook and James Harden, two of the best players in the NBA. They have been impacted by the Kobe Bryant presence in L.A., and his mystique that he’s built. And he’s changed the game, not just because his game on the court, but his legendary work ethic and mentality, which he gave to Devin Booker when Devin Booker faced him in Phoenix.”
Watson continued about Booker’s experience with Kobe during Bryant’s farewell tour:
“I talked to Kobe after the game, I sent Devin Booker over. Devin Booker went over there and signed some shoes, ‘Be Legendary.’ A year and a day later, Devon goes for 70 in Boston. Seventy points. Before the game we talked about him being legendary. So that impact still has presence in the NBA today.”
Booker is well regarded as one of the rising stars of the NBA and that 70-point performance cemented it. Booker became the youngest player to ever score 60 points in a game.
The NBA truly is a family and veteran players are typically looking and willing to help their younger counterparts. Booker is one of many who have been inspired by Kobe and there will surely be others who are impacted by one of the greatest to ever play the game.
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