Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant left his mark everywhere he went. As his successful basketball career began to come to an end, he began to broaden his interests in off-court adventures. His presence was felt at all times, and no one could attest to it better than Jamal Crawford.
Crawford has enjoyed an eventful 20-year career in the NBA, playing with countless stars and winning multiple accolades for his game. Bryant and Crawford have faced each other 28 times in their careers, with Kobe winning 16 of those clashes. The favorite memory of the Black Mamba‘s sixth man extraordinary, however, was nothing that happened on the pitch.
In a Twitter Spaces Q&A that Jamal Crawford recently hosted, a fan asked about his favorite memory of Kobe Bryant.
âMy favorite memory of Kobe was the summer and we were both playing the celebrity softball game in Seattle,â Crawford said. âWe started to talk. By the way, Kobe has this aura around him, where he could make superstars, without telling me, but I’ve seen superstars get nervous around him. He just stood out. He was something different. So we were at the softball game, and it was my pro-am game later on and I finally got enough courage. I’m like ‘Kobe man, will you come watch me play tonight. Everyone thinks you’re coming anyway. Will you come? ‘
âHe said, ‘You are playing.’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I’m coming.’ And someone from Nike said to me, ‘No, we have to go back to LA, we have to go.’ He said: ‘No, I’m going to watch Jamal play.’ He backed up his plane. He brought him, his wife, his daughters, the whole family to watch me play and I scored 63 points. And it wasn’t because of me. I tell you. I remember driving like, ‘Damn, Kobe is behind me in the car right now.’ I’m calling everyone like, “Go to Pro-Am, Kobe is coming!” And so he had that aura around him and it was the craziest moment for me because he had every reason in the world to say, “No I’m not coming” or “I’ll do it another time,” it’s at the last minute, ‘and I would have totally understood, but the fact that he moved everything ahead was amazing to me.
Crawford’s story perfectly sums up who Kobe Bryant was as a person for many in the league and not just around the Lakers. As he gave up basketball he became a mentor to many current players and even started coaching young people.
This is the game Crawford was talking about, the performance of 63 points he appeared in front of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant in July 2014.