Kobe Bryant is one of the most accomplished NBA players that there is.
A five-time NBA Champion as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, in 20 seasons all with the Lakers, Bryant has career averages of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 1,346 regular season games.
Bryant won 1 MVP Award and was selected to play in 18 All-Star Games.
Both his Nos. 8 and 24 were retired by LA.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including Bryant’s daughter, Gigi on Sunday, January 26.
Since his death, stories of Bryant’s goodwill on and off the court have circulated.
Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Bryant’s ex-Lakers teammate, Kareem Rush checked in and discussed all things Black Mamba.
Check out notes from our dialogue below:
Kareem Rush on Kobe Bryant in practice:
“I mean, sometimes — he because you know, he played big minutes. At that point they won three straight when I first came in so a lot of times it was maintenance with those guys because they were bigger stars. Especially the top four you know – Shaq, Kobe, Karl and GP. For the most part he did his own thing. He came in EARLY. I remember the first time when I first got drafted my first day coming in I wanted to get there early, just to showcase that I wanted work, but when I walked in, Kobe was already out on the court. Sweating. Like dripping like a full on game. And they told me he was in here four hours before… he was working on footwork with no basketball. That let me know right then that dude was on ANOTHER level and you just kind of saw as that year and the couple of years went on what it takes to be great. I saw the ‘Mamba Mentality’ firsthand as a youngster because I was a two guard and I had to guard him every day. I had to carry his bags. I got a chance to know him a little bit closer than some of the other rookies. But you saw firsthand what that Mamba Mentality was and it wouldn’t eventually get coined until later on but I saw how hard he worked and how his every moment was dedicated to him being a better basketball player.”
Kareem Rush on Kobe Bryant’s place amongst the greats like Michael Jordan:
“Oh yeah. I would give Kobe top three. I would put Kareem second and then Kobe. Behind Mike. I can kind of understand why Kobe is passed over by LeBron. I think eventually he will if LeBron continues down this path and plays another four or five years the numbers that LeBron are going to put up are crazy when he can be considered that, but in my eyes Kobe was not one of a kind, but the CLOSEST to Jordan as you’re gonna get and I think that’s why he gets passed over because he was so much like Michael. LeBron is doing something different. Kind of the combination between the two but, Kobe is on the Mt. Rushmore for me. It was an incredible honor for me to get the chance to play with him and as I progressed through the League and after my career was done the magnitude of what he done in his career, it was just like a treat and I was honored to share the floor with him.”