Lou Williams got to see some of Kobe Bryant’s greatness from up close after joining the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the franchise’s legend final NBA season.
The 2015-16 squad might have been the worst team in Lakers history, finishing with a 17-65 record — which marked the fewest number of wins in a single season the organization has ever registered.
But that campaign was all about Bryant’s farewell tour — capped off by the NBA great’s 60-point eruption in the last game of his career. However, Williams recently recalled another fine performance from the late Lakers legend in a cameo on the Players’ Tribune’s “Knuckleheads” podcast, telling the story of how Bryant relentlessly guarded Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry:
“We was playing Golden State. And this was when Steph was starting to catch fire. He was starting to turn into ‘The Chef.’ You know what I’m saying? And he came in and he said, ‘I f***ing found it.’ He just kept saying, ‘I f***ing found it.’ … He like, ‘He don’t like people standing on the side of him. He can shoot with you in front of him. He can shoot with you behind him. But on his side, he don’t like that. I’mma guard him the second half.’ Shut him down again. So, after that, I was a believer. … After that, I’m like, ‘Everything that I’ve heard about Kobe Bryant is all true.’”
Curry is having another tremendous postseason, leading the Warriors to the 2022 NBA Finals. If he is able to overcome the Boston Celtics, then that would be his fourth championship, putting him just one behind Bryant.
Darvin Ham credits Bryant for coaching growth
New Lakers head coach Darvin Ham worked with Bryant during his stint as L.A.’s assistant coach between 2011-2013. And Ham praised the legendary Laker for his growth as a coach.
“It was great. God rest his soul,” Ham said. “We spent a lot of time together on the practice floor, individual workouts, watching clips. And [I learned] if I can go back and forth with him, and have him disagree with me and then double back and tell me I was right, we all know how stubborn he was. It just gave me a wealth of confidence in myself as a coach. Just seeing him and him sharing different ways he saw the game.
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