•   
  •   
  •   

Sport 'This generation's Michael Jordan': How Rising Stars remember Kobe

22:05  14 february  2020
22:05  14 february  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

All-Star Weekend 'tribute to' legacies of Kobe, Stern

  All-Star Weekend 'tribute to' legacies of Kobe, Stern Pau Gasol and Sue Bird honored Kobe Bryant and David Stern in their address to the crowd before the All-Star Weekend Rising Stars game.Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash Jan. 26. Bryant and late NBA commissioner David Stern, who died Jan. 1, were honored before the game by former Bryant teammate Pau Gasol and WNBA star Sue Bird. Bryant was named a Hall of Fame finalist prior to the game.

CHICAGO — When Kobe Bean Bryant made his NBA debut, 16 of the 20 rookies and sophomores who will take part in Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend had not yet been born.

a basketball player in front of a crowd: Kobe Bryant's signature jog with his thumbs up at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Kobe Bryant's signature jog with his thumbs up at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

None of the 20 ever played against the Lakers legend. Only a few met him.

But even for the league’s younger generation, for players like Zion Williamson and Trae Young, and even for those who grew up outside the United States, Bryant’s legacy is tangible. His impact was, and still is, felt.

“It’s up there with Jordan,” Williamson said Friday. “Especially for this generation. Because he was this generation’s Michael Jordan.”

NBA renames All-Star MVP award to honor Kobe Bryant

  NBA renames All-Star MVP award to honor Kobe Bryant NBA renames All-Star MVP award to honor Kobe BryantCommissioner Adam Silver announced the renaming at his annual All-Star weekend news conference on Saturday, unveiling the newly-minted trophy.

“Growing up, I didn’t get to watch MJ that much,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges explained. “So Kobe was kind of my Mike.”

Added Ja Morant: “That’s who I grew up watching.”

Williamson, Bridges and Morant were three of more than a dozen Rising Stars who shared memories of Bryant at NBA All-Star weekend on Friday. Their words paint a portrait of what Bryant meant to basketball’s Gen Z.

Kobe memories

“When I was 8,” Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker begins. His mind flashes back to 2006-07, to scoring champion Kobe, to the All-Star Game MVP. Alexander-Walker was growing up in Ontario, more than 2,000 miles from Los Angeles. Nonetheless, “My first basketball number was 8,” he says. And then the memories start flowing.

“I had his first Nike shoe. And I remember I used to watch NBA TV, and they’d be showing his highlights. And I used to practice running with my thumbs up, like the way he did.”

Kobe Bryant will be honored at the Super Bowl on Sunday

  Kobe Bryant will be honored at the Super Bowl on Sunday Jennifer Lopez and Shakira say they'll pay tribute to the late basketball star in the halftime show.Musicians Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“Just everything about basketball that he brought to the table,” Alexander-Walker continued. “Before the season even started, I knew the only shoe I would wear was a Kobe Bryant shoe. Just because of the impact he had on me and the approach he’s brought to the game, being super confident in yourself. People are gonna love you, people are gonna hate you. But as long as you can look in the mirror every day and feel confident, and feel appreciated by yourself, then that’s the biggest thing.”

Others have vivid memories of watching Kobe as a fan. Cavs guard Collin Sexton remembers staying up until 1 a.m. on a school night watching his “Mamba out” 60-point game against the Jazz in 2016. Wolves forward Josh Okogie remembers being at a friend’s house. A Lakers game, he says, “was just on, randomly. I wasn’t even trying to watch the game. And he hit a left-handed 3, or fadeaway, in the corner area. I just thought that was amazing. That was probably the No. 1 Kobe moment.”

Genesis Invitational to honor Kobe on No. 8 at Riviera

  Genesis Invitational to honor Kobe on No. 8 at Riviera The Genesis Invitational at Riviera will honor Kobe Bryant on No. 8 at this week's PGA Tour stop.

Even Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, who grew up in Japan, watched Kobe throughout his childhood. Then, as a freshman in college, he got to meet his “hero.”

Meeting the Mamba

Hachimura couldn’t really understand what Kobe was saying. Hachimura and Gonzaga were at the Final Four in Phoenix. Before their game, Bryant brought the entire team shoes and gave a speech. What, exactly, did Kobe say?

“It was my first year, so my English was kind of bad,” Hachimura said with a smile. But he understood it was about the Mamba Mentality. And he understood what it meant.

Moritz Wagner learned about it first-hand as well. It was the summer of 2018. Wagner, now a Wizard, had been drafted by the Lakers. “I had a chance to meet him, and I feel very privileged to have had that chance,” Wagner said.

The two had a “pretty intense basketball conversation,” the German center explained. “That conversation showed me, in a way, that the Mamba Mentality, you can’t really explain it. And you can’t really fake it either. You can’t just say, ‘I have the Mamba Mentality.’ You live it every day. And he really did that. He had a different aura around him and mentality about him. That conversation, that whole day, kind of showed me that.”

AP Source: Bryant memorial set for Feb. 24 at Staples Center

  AP Source: Bryant memorial set for Feb. 24 at Staples Center LOS ANGELES (AP) — A public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash is planned for Feb. 24 at Staples Center, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on Thursday. The arena is where Bryant starred for the Los Angeles Lakers for two decades and the date 2/24 corresponds with the No. 24 jersey he wore and the No. 2 worn by his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. No officialThe arena is where Bryant starred for the Los Angeles Lakers for most of his two-decade career and the date 2/24 corresponds with the No. 24 jersey he wore and the No. 2 worn by his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Of all of Kobe’s face-to-face interactions with the NBA’s Rising Stars, Young’s was the most personal. It’s why news of Bryant’s death brought Young to tears on that Sunday afternoon last month.

“The last thing I got to talk to Kobe about was how proud he was of me,” Young said. “He just wanted me to continue to be a great role model for the younger kids.” Just like Bryant clearly was for so many two decades earlier.

More from Yahoo Sports:

  • Rohrbach: The mystery behind Michael Jordan’s No. 12 jersey

  • Redskins release CB Josh Norman

  • NFL draft: Wide receiver preview

  • Cardinals won’t cut David Johnson, but what’s next?

Related slideshow: Kobe Bryant life in pictures (provided by photo services)

Mark Wahlberg Shares His Favorite Memory With Kobe Bryant .
ET caught up with the actor at the Los Angeles premiere of 'McMillion$' on Thursday.ET spoke with the actor at the McMillion$ premiere at The Landmark in Los Angeles on Thursday, where he shared his favorite memory of the late NBA star who, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!