Kobe Bryant’s untimely death has left a giant hole in the heart of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Lakers legend affected many throughout his life as a player, a mentor and an icon. His fingerprints are all over the current Lakers team and many of the players are having a hard time coping with the news.
Anthony Davis may not have played with Kobe while wearing the purple and gold, but the two have played together for USA Basketball and a number of NBA All-Star games. Davis was among a few Lakers players who wanted to wait a day before they reacted to the news on social media and he sent out a heartbreaking message:
“Man this is a tough one for me! You were the first guy to put me under your wing and show me the ins and outs of the league. Had so many great convos about so many things and I will cherish those moments forever. Love you forever, Bean! #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi”
There has been an outpouring of love for Kobe and his late daughter Gianna Marie since the news became public. There’s no doubt he made the lives of many people better throughout his life.
Kobe Lobbied Lakers to Trade for Davis
When their were trade rumblings about the Lakers potentially making a move for Anthony Davis, Kobe Bryant was a big proponent of the move. In an interview with AS.com back in March 2019, Kobe lobbied the Lakers to trade their young core for Davis.
“I say no. [Kyle] Kuzma, Lonzo [Ball], [Brandon] Ingram… are the three of them better than Anthony Davis?” Bryant asked rhetorically. “No! Ciao! Bye! Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not currently, in history. What are we talking about? If you can trade for Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, alright. We have three players who are very young and work hard. They’re smart and they have to develop. But if you can trade for Anthony Davis… yes!”
The Lakers eventually pulled the trigger for Davis but didn’t have to give up Kyle Kuzma in the process. The team has gone from NBA bottom-feeders to the top of the Western Conference since adding Davis.
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Kobe Took Davis Under His Wing
Back in October, Kobe had a chance to talk about Davis and offered some interesting insight. Davis has struggled with injuries throughout his career and that’s something Kobe could relate to.
“Anthony was different just because of his curiosity about the game itself,” Bryant said, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.
“I think the injuries have derailed it from really exploding,” Bryant said of Davis’ NBA career, “but my goodness he’s been doing some phenomenal stuff. Health is really the only obstacle for him to go and have that ridiculous Hall of Fame career.”
Since joining the Lakers, Davis has been playing like one of the five best players in the NBA. Kobe was definitely right about making the team making this move. He was often right about a lot of things.