Kobe Bryant had a decorated NBA career.
The retired 20-year NBA veteran had career averages of 25 points, 4.7 assists and 5.2 assists per game.
The Black Mamba had arguably one of the best finishes in the last game of his career against the Utah Jazz in 2016.
For those keeping score at home: Bryant had a 60 point game in the Lakers’ 101-96 win against Utah at Staples Center back then.
The 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA, is the only player in NBA history to spend 20 seasons with one team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant earned five championships during his career.
What was it like to play with Kobe Bryant?
“Man, it was an amazing experience,” former Laker, Josh Powell told Courtside Buzz’s Mikey Domagala.
“One of the biggest things I picked up from him was his attention to detail. You know he works his a** off, you know he brings that mentality to the game, but I think what people don’t [know] is the fact that he pays attention to detail and that’s why he’s had the success he’s had.”
For those keeping score at home: Powell played alongside Bryant with the Los Angeles from 2008-2010 where he won two championships. Powell is now the co-captain of the BIG3’s ‘Killer 3’s.
He tells Domagala that Bryant’s obsession with basketball is what makes him great.
“He breaks down the game offensively,” he said.
“Defensively; he’s looking for the schemes, how he can get his teammates involved, how he can get a bucket. Things to him that are no problem to do, but the reasons behind that is his knowledge of the game and how he attacks and looks at the game of basketball.”
The 6’9 Powell went undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft and would eventually sign with the Dallas Mavericks. He’d later find his way with the Los Angeles Lakers where he teamed with Bryant to win two championships in 2009 and 2010. The two-time league champ also had NBA stints with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets.
A one-time assistant coach of the Houston Rockets when he retired from the NBA, Powell also had a successful basketball career overseas. In fact, Powell played overseas in countries like Russia, Italy, Argentina, Greece, Puerto Rico, China, the Philippines, Australia, and Venezuela.
Many compare Kobe Bryant’s game to Michael Jordan. Jordan got the chance to close his career on his terms while with the Chicago Bulls; retiring twice and winning championships both times. Retired NFL player Peyton ended his similarly when he and the Denver Broncos captured Super Bowl 50.
Could imagine Bryant riding off in the sunset like that?
“It would have been amazing,” Bryant told me.
“But you know, it just wasn’t meant to be. But at the same time, I couldn’t complain about it. I’ve enjoyed winning to the tune of five championships and been very fortunate to have those. Most players haven’t been able to get one. So, you gotta be able to take the good with the bad.”