Kobe Bryant‘s impact on the National Basketball Association has been quite impactful.
New Orleans Pelicans swingman, Brandon Ingram wasn’t even born when Kobe Bryant was the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
“Well, I was born in 1997,” Ingram told me back in 2016 when he was drafted.
“So it couldn’t be too far, but probably Kobe’s last championship,” said Ingram. “My impression of Kobe is just his drive. Everyone talks about how he works out, his work ethic, and that’s something that I eventually want to get to, of course, and just want to talk with him and try to learn what he did to try to be what he is today.”
Worth noting: In 2020, Ingram was named a reserve for the 2020 NBA All Star game in Chicago, Illinois. He’s having a solid season with averages of 25 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Mamba mentality is real!
The influence that the Black Mamba left on hoops has been more than fully acknowledged since his death in a helicopter crash on Sunday January 26.
Bryant’s former Los Angeles Lakers teammate, Shaquille O’Neal has been the outspoken since the news broke. “Well, as you know, the last couple months has been really tough,” said O’Neal.
“I lost my little sister. I haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been doing the normal things I usually do. I work, we laugh, we kid and we joke. When I get back home and look at reality and see she’s gone, it just hurts. So the other day, I’m downstairs working out with my son Shaqir and my nephew Columbus, and my other nephew comes in crying, and he shows me his phone, and I snapped at him. I said, ‘Man, get that out of my face.’ We live in a world where anything can be photoshopped, anything can be hoaxed. I didn’t want to believe it. And then I got the call from [Ernie Johnson], Charles [Barkley], Kenny [Smith] — everybody called me. And then we found out it was confirmed. I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while. [I’m] 47 years old. I lost two grandmothers. I lost a sarge, lost my sister, and now I lost a little brother.
Our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship, and I tell them it’s just like me and Charles. You got two strong-minded people that are going to get it done their way, that are going to say certain things. The respect will never be lost. When it comes to being inside the lines and winning, that’s what me him did.”