The Los Angeles Lakers will raise Kobe Bryant’s jerseys into the Staples Center rafters on Monday night when they host the Golden State Warriors. Many Warriors have fond memories of Kobe, but none were able to witness him up close like Nick Young.
Young spent the last four seasons with the Lakers before joining the Warriors this past summer. His time in Los Angeles overlapped with the final three of Kobe’s illustrious career.
While Young’s playful demeanor seems like an odd fit with Kobe’s relentless determination and fire, Young enjoyed his time with the future Hall of Famer.
Young spoke about playing with Kobe, and according to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News, he believes Kobe adapted to the younger team that surrounded him in his last years:
“Kobe toward the end, I couldn’t see how people couldn’t play with him. He was going well with us. He adapted to playing with young guys and having to be a leader.”
Some may want to believe that Kobe was miserable as the Lakers lost a lot of games during those final seasons, but Kobe understood that he didn’t have a championship team around him and Young’s words echo that.
The Kobe of 2014 had a completely different task in front of him than Kobe of 2009. Young, being a Los Angeles kid, grew up idolizing Kobe so the opportunity to play with him was undoubtedly something he cherished.
He also was one of the few who gladly took up the chance to go at Kobe head-to-head on a daily basis. Despite the good times of previous years, Young will still be looking to ruin the ceremony with a Warriors win.
He said he was trying to kill the Lakers when the two teams met previously and that mindset likely hasn’t changed going into round two.
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