Lakers news: Tim Duncan sums up Kobe Bryant's greatness in 20 words


ClutchPoints 14 May, 2021 - 08:38pm 11 views

Is Kobe in the Hall of Fame?

Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020 this weekend. ... This will be the presentation of the Hall of Fame rings and jackets to the Class of 2020. Los Angeles TimesWhen is Kobe Bryant's Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Where is Kobe Hall of Fame?

On Sunday, May 16, the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be revealed. Here are the finalists. The moment that Kobe Bryant fans have been waiting for is almost upon us. On Saturday, the long overdue 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts. NBC Southern CaliforniaBasketball Hall of Fame TV Schedule: Here's How to Watch or Stream Kobe Bryant's Induction Ceremony

When is the NBA Hall of Fame 2021?

On Sunday, May 16, the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be revealed. Here are the finalists. NBC ChicagoBasketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Finalists

What channel is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on?

What channel is Kobe Bryant's Hall of Fame induction on? Kobe Bryant's enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame will be aired on ESPN. Anyone who has a cable subscription will be able to view it on ESPN or stream it via WatchESPN or the ESPN app. sportingnews.comHow to watch Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan's induction into Basketball Hall of Fame

San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan is a man of few words, but on Friday ahead of his Hall of Fame enshrinement, he can’t help but say a lot about the greatness of Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.

Duncan reflected on his battles with Kobe and revealed how the late Lakers great brought out the best in him. As Duncan shared, you always had to be prepared and be at your best from start to finish when playing against Bryant.

“You always had to be at your best and bring your best from start to finish when your playing against [Kobe]."

Tim Duncan on facing Kobe Bryant 🙏🏽

— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 15, 2021

Kobe Bryant was known for his Mamba Mentality and all-out attitude. He did not accept mediocrity in every aspect, and so he had always been a tough opponent throughout his career. That was obviously clear in Tim Duncan’s memory of his showdowns with the Black Mamba himself.

The two had several great battles in the Western Conference, and Kobe and Duncan certainly didn’t hold back whenever they played each other. According to Land of Basketball, the two has faced off 82 times in the regular season and playoffs throughout their respective NBA careers. Timmy has the advantage in the overall record at 43-39, but it is worth nothing that Kobe had more playoff wins in their matchups at 18-12.

It would have been awesome to see the former rivals appear together in their Hall of Fame enshrinement and remember all the battles they had. Unfortunately, Kobe’s tragic passing in a helciopter crash last year denied us of such once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

While Kobe  is gone, one thing is for sure: his legacy will be forever remembered not only by Lakers fans, but also by all the opponents he had faced throughout his 20 years in the league.

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Kobe Bryant moments: 8 indelible memories from Times staff

Los Angeles Times 15 May, 2021 - 05:30am

I did the last interview with Kobe, nine days before his death. He said he would call at 2 p.m. He called at 1:45. There was a loud leaf blower buzzing outside my window. He never mentioned it. But he knew it was there because he seemed to raise his voice above it. The questions were about LeBron, and Kobe was clearly eager to give me the message that he was willingly passing the torch.

Then he ended the interview expressing his love and gratitude for the city of L.A. Yet I never asked about that. He just wanted to say it. The leaf blower had stopped. I heard him loud and clear.

While photographing Kobe Bryant throughout his career, the moments seem endless as I finally sit down and reflect on all the amazing plays, from buzzer-beaters to the acrobatic dunks. What struck me most about him? It wasn’t the time when he would walk out of the locker room with that 1,000-yard stare before a game. It wasn’t him and LeBron James laughing hysterically on the bench at the 2012 London Olympics. It wasn’t the time when I arrived at Staples Center six hours before a playoff game to see Kobe shooting free throws in a completely empty arena. Nor was it the last game of his career where he scored 60 points in a jaw-dropping performance.

It was 2001 after the Lakers defeated the 76ers for the NBA championship. After transmitting photos back to the L.A. Times editors I went to the team bus hoping to get players boarding with the trophy. Not surprisingly there was Kobe on the bus by himself with the championship trophy just staring at it. He was holding it like it was one of his newborn daughters, a reflection of his dedication to life. I have never seen a more dedicated, fierce, composed and gifted athlete. Above all he seemed to be a great family man. The “Mamba mentality” will carry on forever as I hear people using the phrase in everyday life.

Kobe Bryant’s career featured many big moments — winning shots, spectacular performances — but some of the small moments stand out to me.

In the 2011-12 season rumors were flying that the Lakers would trade Pau Gasol. I was assigned to write a column off a game at Phoenix, and I didn’t have a clear idea of what I’d write. Afterward, in the locker room, Bryant drew his usual big crowd of reporters. I hoped he’d say something I could build a column around, but I was toward the back of the scrum and I couldn’t hear him very well. At one point I caught his eye and indicated I couldn’t hear what he was saying. He raised his voice — and spoke at length about how the Lakers shouldn’t trade Gasol, calling Gasol one of the “pillars” of the team. Column idea gratefully accepted. After the scrum broke up, I thanked him for giving me a column topic. He laughed. He knew what he was doing.

As a good Philadelphian, Bryant liked cheesesteaks. But they had to be authentic, and the bread had to be just so. That’s tough to find on the West Coast, but he discovered a place in my neighborhood, as I discovered when I saw a photo of him with one of the employees placed proudly in the window.

I asked him about it since the place isn’t near where he lived and it seemed so random. He told me it was one of the best places he’d found — high praise, considering he was a cheesesteak connoisseur and had a sandwich named for him at Larry’s Steaks in West Philadelphia. He was passionate about good cheesesteaks, a fun side of him that most fans would never know about. The photo in the window of my neighborhood place is still there. I still smile when I see it.

I think the second NBA game I ever covered was the 2011 NBA All-Star game at Staples Center. My role was to just kind of float around and help out wherever I could, to talk to fans and players about the L.A. experience. Almost every interview eventually landed on some aspect of Bryant and his game. That’s what stands out to me most — his total ability to dominate, to be ever-present no matter the topic.

That weekend, there was some chatter that it would be some sort of coming out party for Blake Griffin, then a rookie for the Clippers, who competed in three different exhibitions, including the dunk contest, during the course of the weekend. But any attention headed his way disappeared the second Bryant got introduced as a starter to a massive roar.

Within minutes, it was clear Kobe was gunning for the MVP. And by the time the game was over, the trophy was Bryant’s (and even in a game that didn’t count, so was the win).

Photographing Kobe throughout the years brought many memorable photographs. When the ball was in his hands there was always excitement and anticipation of something great about to happen. The crowd would roar. Whether it was the last-second game-winning jumper over rival Dwyane Wade or a chest bump with Shaquille O’Neal.

Kobe took the loses with as much emotion as the wins. There were moments when he and Shaq would sit on the bench together after a heartbreaking loss and console each other in the moment.

As I near the end of my fourth decade as a sports photojournalist, I’m awed by the amazing moments and supreme athletes I’ve been privileged to document. Kobe Bryant is hands down the greatest of them all. Witnessing his supreme talent, iron will and unmatched dedication to basketball and the Lakers will remain indelibly etched in my mind. Months after he passed, I was sorting through hundreds of images. Most showed him dominating opponents, game-winning baskets and unbridled elation.

Above all, though, a quiet moment captured near the end of Game 5 of the 2009 NBA championship series stands out. He’s crouched alone on the court, staring into the distance with a look of pure satisfaction and contentment. No doubt the back story of winning a championship without Shaquille O’Neal is what fans and media projected were his thoughts. Instead, I see a man who is fully realizing all he has accomplished in life. A powerful zen moment that we all would love to achieve but most likely never will.

I never covered Kobe Bryant and saw him play live just once, in sixth grade. The corner of Oregon where I grew up was not exactly Lakers country — you may have heard of a certain lob he threw to Shaq in the 2001 playoffs. I’d always instantly understood his worldwide celebrity and the brilliance of his game. But it wasn’t until later in life that I realized the depth his presence meant to fans who, unlike me, set their calendars around his games.

When I lived in Portland, Ore., I played in a pickup run most Sundays in a K-8 school’s gym. Two of the regulars talked about Bryant with such profound attachment and passion at times that it felt like he was distant family. We all had sons around the same time of Bryant’s retirement — and they named theirs Kobe. They were on my mind the day after Bryant’s death, still processing what had happened when I got into a Lyft in Orlando, Fla., to return to L.A. after covering a Clippers game. I hadn’t told my driver about my job, or my destination, when he turned around, shook his head, and muttered something about it being a crazy day. You see, he said, he’d grown up in Peru, watching Kobe. I understood just what he meant.

The last time I saw Kobe Bryant was on Dec. 30, 2019, and he had just entered Staples Center to watch the Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks. As I approached, he leaned over and said something to his daughter Gianna who was always by his side. He smiled when I got close enough and said,

“Gigi, see this dude? When he covered me, he never dressed this nice.”

We embraced and just laughed. I reminded him that I always wore nice outfits, even during the 20 years I was fortunate enough to cover him with the Lakers.

At that moment — and even now — I don’t remember Kobe Bean Bryant ever being as happy and so at peace.

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