Kobe Bryant was one of the most efficient NBA players to ever step foot on a basketball court.
Bryant’s accomplishments on the court were undeniable.
Both his numbers 8 and 24, are retired by the Los Angeles Lakers organization at Staples Center.
Bryant is also listed fourth on the NBA’s career scoring list with 33,643 points.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including Bryant’s daughter, Gigi on Sunday, January 26, 2020 and since his death, stories of his legacy have poured in.
Insert John Celestand, Bryant’s former Lakers teammate.
Before the two were members of LA’s 2000 championship team, the two were competitors in an AAU tournment in the 90s.
Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Celestand discussed the time Bryant scored 55 points on him in an AAU game that included Elton Brand.
Check out a snippet from our dialogue below:
John Celestand on how Kobe Bryant scored 55 on him in the AAU Tournament:
Celestand: Aww man. I going to say it was QUIET 55. And the reason why I say that because usually when somebody scores 55 points, there’s nobody else in the game that’s dropping those types of numbers, right? Like I had 43. Tim Thomas – all I remember is that he had 28 at halftime so I’m assuming that he probably went for like, 38 or something like that. Elton Brand must’ve had 25 points. And he probably would’ve had 40 but I remember he missed like, 15 free throws man. He was a terrible free throw shooter back then. So, as great as the game was, I rmember Kobe – he went for like, 20 for 20 from the free throw line. 20 of those 50 points came on us fouling him, you know…so that’s the ONLY reason why it was a “quiet” 55… if you can say 55 is quiet. But his talent level, it was phenomenal. And his focus and his maturity and his intensity was what to me made him head and shoulders above the rest of them.
Also in our interview via the Scoop B Radio Podcast, John Celestand also discussed Phil Jackson‘s early days with the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal‘s dominance in the NBA at the center position, Ron Harper‘s excellence in the triangle offense and exactly how much of a standout Kobe Bryant was in high school.
Celestand was the Lakers’ 30th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft after a solid career at Villanova University, which is a hop, skip and jump from Bryant’s Lower Merion High School.