Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron reveals favourite Kobe moment

KOBE Bryant isn't gone. His stories will never stop.

Though the LA Lakers postponed Wednesday's game against cross-town rivals the Clippers - following the tragic helicopter accident that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others - players and coaches gathered at their practice facility for the first time since losing the NBA legend, and various members of the team shared impromptu anecdotes about the brilliant, unique and complex star, according to ESPN.

At a team luncheon, former Olympic teammate LeBron James spoke fondly of the 2008 gold-medal game, when Bryant famously took over a close game in the fourth quarter.

According to ESPN, James said what stood out most was early in the game against Spain, when Bryant's intense competitiveness was showcased by running right through Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, knocking the big man to the floor.

"Oh, wow, you're going to have to play with this guy next season," James remembered thinking.

LeBron was in awe of Kobe right until the end.
LeBron was in awe of Kobe right until the end.

James' story prompted one from Dr Judy Seto, the Lakers' director of sports performance. Following an NBA Finals loss to the Boston Celtics in which Gasol was criticised for being "soft", Seto explained that Bryant purposefully went after Gasol in order to motivate the Spaniard.

Before that year's training camp, Bryant hung his gold medal in Gasol's locker.

Nick Mazzella, the Lakers' director of pro personnel, shared Bryant's sweeter side.

At a restaurant during a pre-season trip to Hawaii, Bryant approached Mazzella's then-fiancee, while the two were dining.

"Ma'am, do you have any idea who you are sitting next to? That's Nick Mazzella!" Bryant said. "He's the best guy, and he's going to go far."

Mazzella told Bryant they were already engaged.

"Congratulations, that's so great," Bryant said. "Marriage is the best. It's such a blessing."

Mazzella said it made him and his wife "feel on top of the world".


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