New Kobe Bryant stories keep coming up from the NBA and beyond, further adding to the legend of the Los Angeles Lakers icon.
Recently, former New England Patriots star Julian Edelman recalled Bryant’s visit during the 2018 offseason. Edelman said he was amazed by the Lakers legend’s curious mind and competitiveness — which persisted even after the guard finished his illustrious 20-year NBA career.
Bryant’s former teammate, Caron Butler, shared his own Kobe story in an appearance on Iman Shumpert’s “Man Amongst Men” podcast. Butler described his bafflement when Bryant wanted to “black out” together to celebrate his $136 million contract extension — only to realize the Lakers All-Star invited him for two heavy workouts the following day, via UNINTERRUPTED:
Every Kobe story adds to his mystique & his legacy. 🐍
Presented by @SheaMoistureMen.
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Butler’s story helps understand Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” and what it entailed. The legendary Laker’s competitiveness and work ethic made him one of the most self-driven players in NBA history. But somehow, they also offered his teammates a chance to motivate him even further.
Shaquille O’Neal recently recalled how he used Bryant’s obsession with “being the best ever” to get on his nerves, pushing him to perform at a higher level.
“All he did was work out. And I knew all he did was work out so I used to push his buttons all the time because I knew what I was going to give you,” O’Neal said. “Pressing buttons and saying, ‘This ain’t your team, this is my team, little man.’ You might be Kobe, but I’m the Shaq. And it would just eat him up inside.”
O’Neal added his method reinforced the perception that the two Lakers All-Stars didn’t get along, but in reality, that was just his way of showing leadership and making his teammate an even better player.
Patrick Beverley tells his Kobe Bryant story
In a get-to-know-me video for the Lakers, Patrick Beverley talked about his favorite Kobe story. Beverley recalled asking Trevor Ariza — his Houston Rockets teammate at the time, who had previously won a championship with Bryant on the Lakers — what the legendary guard thought of him.
Ariza then assured Beverely that Bryant respected him, serving as a confidence boost at the beginning of his NBA career.
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