‘Only One Mamba’: Jamal Crawford Reveals the Time He Gained Kobe Bryant’s Respect

Published 10/15/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant directs his teammates during a game against the Timberwolves on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at Staples Center. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


The NBA might have seen many legends come through the ranks of the Los Angeles Lakers. Be it Magic Johnson or the logo himself Jerry West, the Purple and Gold have produced some mercurial talents. But perhaps the greatest Laker of them all is Kobe Bryant.

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Bryant, who was drafted as the 14th overall pick in the 1996 draft, was a prodigy coming straight out of high school. With doubts surrounding the youngster’s potential, Kobe’s initial days in the NBA weren’t as smooth sailing.

Overcoming a lot of adversities, Bryant proved his worth when playtime was given to him. He certainly didn’t look back ever since. With five championships, a MVP trophy, 2 Finals MVP trophies and a couple of scoring championships, it is safe to say, Kobe left his mark on the game.

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Jamal Crawford shares incredible Kobe Bryant story

Kobe Bryant was certainly one of a kind on the court. Although there was no doubting the skill he had with the game of basketball, it was his mentality that stood out from others. Given how his attitude towards the game is, gaining ‘Black Mamba‘s’ respect was a difficult task, nonetheless.

3-time Sixth Man of the Year certainly knows a thing or two about competing with Bryant. While he was not such of a starter, he was a spark plug off the bench for many teams like the Knicks and the Clippers and had his fair share of battles with the Lakers’ legend.

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In a recent tweet, Crawford revealed how he gained Kobe Bryant’s respect. In a blockbuster battle between the Knicks and the Lakers, Bryant was on his absolute best, dropping 39 points and crossing the 20,000 point mark with the same.

The Knicks simply looked hapless and were down by 25 at one point of time. But ‘the Crawsover’ went ballistic in the second half, putting up a total of 31 points. The Knicks almost made a comeback, but Bryant saw off the game, with a mid-range dagger. After the game, Bryant certainly was appreciative of Crawford, as the two were seen hugging each other.

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In his tweet JC wrote, “This was the first time he ever said anything to me on court. Felt I got his respect that day. There’s only one Mamba.” This only goes onto show how important competition was for ‘Black Mamba’ who appreciated the ones who competed against him.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1275 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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