Amare Stoudemire Says Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Was a ‘Generational Guy’

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 06: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reaches in to knock the ball out of the hands of Amar'e Stoudamire #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the first quarter of the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on December 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Late Los Angeles Lakers icon, Kobe Bryant received the highest of praise from Amare Stoudemire.

Appearing on Fox Sports Radio’s Listen In With KNN, Stoudemire was asked who some of his favorite NBA players were and let it be known that the Black Mamba is high on that list. “Kobe, Kobe,” Stoudemire told Listen In With KNN’s host, Kelsey Nicole Nelson.

Listen In With KNN Ft. Special Guest 6x NBA All-Star Amar'e StoudemireOn this special episode of "Listen In With KNN" sports talk radio show/podcast presented by FOX Sports Radio, award-winning broadcast host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomes in Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv forward & 6x NBA All-Star and 5x All-NBA Amar'e Stoudemire. #LIWKNN #ListenInWithKNN to join the conversation.2020-06-27T01:43:50Z

“It’s tough to use this in a past tense type of conversation, but Kobe Kobe as a player was a generational guy. You know, he actually, from a guy that came out of high school; I’m sure he learned a lot from his father. His father was a pro player. But the way he carried himself the way he approached the game of basketball was like, beyond his age, you know, he was like he was, he was very mature for his age when it comes to that. He understood what it took, what it takes to win. And he was willing to learn and he wasn’t intimidated to ask other greats about, you know, the tools it took, you know, so from that standpoint it was awesome.”

Kobe Bryant’s father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a standout at John Bartram High School in the Southwest section of the city. He was drafted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in the 1975 NBA Draft out of LaSalle University. Jellybean played for the Philadelphia 76ers on a team that featured legends Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Doug Collins and George McGinnis.

A 6’9 big man, Jellybean had amazing footwork on the court. He played basketball abroad in Italy and he later played for the NBA’s San Diego Clippers and Houston Rockets.

Kobe Bryant learned from watching his father play basketball in Italy and in 1996, he was the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Lower Merion High School. On a past episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant told me that he thought Bryant being around him as an athlete was in fact an independent study on life. “Well I figure it is helpful in the sense that our children get a chance to meet or go places where the normal child doesn’t get a chance to go to you know,” he told me.

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Kobe’s father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally in the NBA and overseas in Italy and France. He has also held a variety of coaching positions around the world, including head coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in the mid-2000’s. Along with Pam Cox, he has three children: Kobe and daughters Sharia and Shaya. (Getty)

“Meaning that after a game, when you’re 10, 11, or 12 years old you can go in the locker room and talk to Magic or talk to Kareem, or talk to George Gervin or whatever the case may be, you get a chance to get on the court and shoot around with them where a lot of kids don’t get that opportunity so, and then also they understand the ups and downs and the challenges that their parents went through, that their father went through it in the sport. As parents, we try to give our kids advice just to stay focused, work hard and those types of things that you been through…So that’s the advantage.”

While talking to Kelsey Nicole Nelson, Amare Stoudemire also delved into Kobe Bryant’s life away from basketball. “Off the court wise, he was a guy who spoke multiple languages,” he said.

“Very cultured, his father played over Italy for a while. So he learned a lot of culture there. And then brought that culture to Philadelphia, you know, and he came back around the brothers and sisters and he got that vibe. And then he ended up getting drafted. So you know, that’s when it all somewhat came out.”

Kobe Bryant retired from basketball in 2016 and is fourth on the NBA’s career scoring list and having registered 33,643 points.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP award winner was the NBA’s regular-season MVP in 2008. Bryant has the distinction of being named an 18-time NBA All-Star, a four-time NBA All-Star MVP, two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, an NBA Slam Dunk Champion, 11-time All-NBA First Team recipient and two-time NBA scoring champion.

Bryant wore Nos. 8 and 24, both of which were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers organization.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including Bryant’s daughter, Gigi on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

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