Sports Monks

“I Became a Big Brother to Him”:Hall of Famer Talks About Losing Kobe Bryant

It may be months or years before the NBA community can really process and move on from the loss of legend Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a great friend and mentor to many. He was also like a younger brother to Gary Payton.

How Kobe Bryant strived to do better

Former NBA player and Kobe’s teammate Gary Payton was recently on the All The Smokes Podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes. Payton and Bryant played together during the 2003-2004 season.

Talking about his relationship with Kobe, the Hall of Famer said, “I had the pleasure of mentoring him for one year when he was in trouble.It was really a joyful time for me to mentor him. I became a big brother to him.”

The trouble Payton was referring to is the time when a 19-year-old hotel employee accused Kobe of sexual assault. It tarnished his reputation. He lost endorsement deals. His circle shrunk. Payton was one of the people who stayed.

Further, Payton commented about how Kobe never shied away from asking for help to get better. The 51-year-old said, “Kobe was just a little different. He didn’t have no ego. He did have an ego, but I’m saying an ego in asking OG’s what to do. And how to become better.”

“I Don’t Like Some of the Things Djokovic Does” – Nick Kyrgios

It may be months or years before the NBA community can really process and move on from the loss of legend Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a great friend and mentor to many. He was also like a younger brother to Gary Payton.

How Kobe Bryant strived to do better

Former NBA player and Kobe’s teammate Gary Payton was recently on the All The Smokes Podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes. Payton and Bryant played together during the 2003-2004 season.

Talking about his relationship with Kobe, the Hall of Famer said, “I had the pleasure of mentoring him for one year when he was in trouble.It was really a joyful time for me to mentor him. I became a big brother to him.”

The trouble Payton was referring to is the time when a 19-year-old hotel employee accused Kobe of sexual assault. It tarnished his reputation. He lost endorsement deals. His circle shrunk. Payton was one of the people who stayed.

Further, Payton commented about how Kobe never shied away from asking for help to get better. The 51-year-old said, “Kobe was just a little different. He didn’t have no ego. He did have an ego, but I’m saying an ego in asking OG’s what to do. And how to become better.”

Payton revealed that Kobe approached him during an All-Star Game. He asked him to clear out some doubts and teach him a few things.

“I sat there at center court and taught him a lot of things and he made the First Team All-Defense with me that year, I said ‘this kid has a lot of different things in him, a different mentality.’

The NBA community considers Bryant the greatest player in the Los Angeles Lakers franchise history. He was named a first-ballot Hall of Famer a few weekends ago.

When Bryant died, Payton was heartbroken and could not believe his younger brother was no more. Via a telephonic interview with ESPN, Payton said while holding back tears,

“It was just so shocking. That was my young fella. That was my young fella. It’s just crazy. I’m sitting here now just in shock. That was my brother. That was my brother.”

Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, along with his daughter Gianna and 7 others on board. It was a loss the community was not ready for.

Source: EssentiallySports

Leave a Reply