‘Big Deal for Me’ – Warriors’ Draymond Green Reveals Incredible Kobe Bryant Story From His Rookie Year

Published 03/27/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the first half of game five in their NBA playoff game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant was one of the most iconic figures in the NBA. Throughout his 20 year career, Bryant kept inspiring many players from his own generation, and the generations that followed. Kobe continues to be remembered fondly to this day – a testament to his greatness as a player, and as an inspiring force. One of the many he inspired was none other than Warriors’ Draymond Green.

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Draymond Green gave an interview with B/R Kicks recently. When talking about his shoes signed by Kobe Bryant, Green shared an interesting story. It was Draymond’s rookie year, and he would arrive early to practice before the game. To his surprise, Kobe would also arrive early, and Green was mesmerized to the point where he was tracking Kobe Bryant.

January 19, 2011: Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant #24 finished with 21 points in an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Dallas defeated Los Angeles 109-100 (Photo by Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“I remember my first time seeing Kobe. My rookie year, I would go out and shoot early. I think I would have to be at the arena at 3:45 for a 7:30 game. And Kobe would also get there. And so I finished my pre-game workout once I saw Kobe walk out.” 

Kobe Bryant amazes Draymond Green

Green added that he took a seat and just watched Kobe practice the entire time. Before Green realized, he had been watching Bryant shoot around and practice for nearly a half-hour. Bryant then went back into the tunnel, but not before he left Draymond absolutely shocked by the LA Lakers legend’s work ethic and desire to succeed.

“I just sat down and literally tracked him coming out of the tunnel all the way to the other end of the floor. And before I knew it, I had seen Kobe work out for 25 minutes, tracked him all the way back to the tunnel. That was a big deal for me…”

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Kobe was a big inspiration for Draymond Green. While Green may not be the offensive juggernaut that Kobe was, he did bring a very similar energy to the defensive end of the game. Much like Bryant, Green hustled as much as he could to give his team the edge.

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Despite him retiring almost five years ago, Kobe continues to inspire people. Players continue to come forward in droves, paying tribute to the ‘Black Mamba’ every day with their ‘never-say-die’ attitude. Bryant would have loved nothing more, always wanting the best for the generations that came after him.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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