Even after his retirement from the NBA, Kobe Bryant remained close to the Los Angeles Lakers organization and was able to establish relationships with the young players who would join the team. The likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Josh Hart gave the Lakers a very talented young core of the time.
It was Kuzma who would outlast all of the Lakers’ youthful core, staying with the team after the rest were traded and eventually playing a big role in the 2020 NBA Championship. Kuzma has since been dumped as well, but he still cherishes For his time with distinction and the relationship he established with Kobe himself.
Kuzma recently appeared on The Draymond Green Show and discussed his relationship with Kobe and the lessons he keeps with him from the Lakers legend:
“You know, the biggest thing he always said was ‘Keep the main thing, the main thing,’ that was one thing. And only two, that was like my North Star. You may never get there or anything else, but whatever you get out of it is what you’re trying to get into. So the ultimate pro, takes care of your body, plays every game, and has that kind of mindset like, ‘I’m here for a reason this is my goal. My goal tonight is to kill. My goal tonight is to go out to help my team win.’ Having someone like This so early in my career, it changed everything for me.
“I could say the same about Bronn the next year and see him from a player’s perspective because Kobe was here, but he’s gone and retired at this point, so it was like word of mouth, but Bronn really seeing him too. Just having that relationship with Kobe was everything. I still have the text messages, as if we never deleted them. Just things to go back to, things to think about. He was so smart about everything. He puts you in a game of things you don’t even think about. The attention to detail he enjoyed at Basketball is in his life, his work, his relationships, and that’s what I want for my life.”
The great thing about Kobe is that his discussions and advice were not limited to the basketball court. As Kuzma pointed out, Bryant had the same level of focus and shot on the field as he did on it, and that’s something the Now Wizards striker wants for himself as well.
Although he never played for Kobe, Kuzma has had the opportunity to work and learn from the greatest Lakers of all time and this is something he will forever cherish.
DeRozan signs a four-year deal to continue representing Bryant’s shoe line
One of the ways Kobe Bryant’s legacy continues to live on is through his hugely popular shoe line. There was plenty of celebration when Bryant’s wife Vanessa and Nike reached an agreement to keep the streak going after the fall.
Now, Nike has reached an agreement to keep DeMar DeRozan as one of the main representatives of the Lakers legend shoe line for the next four years. As a Southern California native, DeRozan has been open about his love and admiration for Kobe and that’s definitely something that means a lot to the All-Star.
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