Raptors’ Rookie Recalls How Kobe Bryant Inspired Him to Pursue an NBA Career

Published 09/17/2021, 11:08 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 04: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dwayne Wade #3 of the Miami Heat share a laugh in the fourth quarter at Staples Center on December 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Heat 108-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


It is any basketball player’s dream to play in the NBA someday. Not just players, but even fans catch themselves daydreaming about what it would be like to play in the NBA. Every year, the NBA drafts around 60 of the best basketball players in the world. And a young 20-year-old Scottie Barnes from West Palm Beach, Florida has now broken through to the NBA as a top 5 draft pick. He has now admitted who it was that inspired him to pursue his dream of basketball. It was none other than Kobe Bryant.

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Scottie Barnes has published an article in ‘The Players’ Tribune’ about his experience from the Draft Night and more. In the initial paragraphs of that article, Scottie revealed he grew up watching Kobe Bryant. And further, he admitted it was at a Lakers game where he decided he wants to play in the league someday.

Watching Kobe Bryant inspired Barnes to pursue playing in the NBA

While recalling what he felt on the draft night, Barnes said he could not stop thinking about some of his old memories while growing up. He remembered one of his first experiences watching an NBA game live. He said, “It was around third or fourth grade, for me. This was before the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh era, and I remember my dad had taken me to a Miami Heat game versus the Lakers.”

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“Man, I still remember every single detail like it was yesterday… Seeing the crowd kinda build when you walk through the doors of the arena. Fans filling up the gym. Then, that buildup throughout…. Keep in mind, it’s Kobe-and-Wade-era Lakers-Heat, so there’s just this crazy momentum, with everybody on the court going at it.”

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But this game was special to him, not just because Kobe and Wade were playing. But because Kobe and Wade made him want to be on the court himself. “It was just surreal. I remember being in the crowd thinking, Yeah, this is something I wanna be a part of. Like forever. I was picturing myself on the floor making Kobe’s moves and having that crowd cheer for me.”

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Indeed, not the first time a player has said that Kobe Bryant inspired him to play. Yet, another name to the immensely long list of people who Kobe had affected in his life.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

240 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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