‘Extra Intelligent Dude’ – Lamar Odom Reflects on Meeting Kobe Bryant During High School Career

Published 04/12/2021, 7:09 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 15: (L-R) Kobe Bryant #24 and Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers share a laugh on the bench during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 15, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 126-86. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest players to ever grace a basketball court. The ‘Black Mamba’ had been responsible for several iconic moments in the history of the NBA. He was one of the most impressive talents to be successful in the NBA, and his resume speaks for itself. Few could have predicted his meteoric rise when he first entered the NBA straight out of high school.

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Lamar Odom on an early meeting with Kobe Bryant

Former NBA champion and teammate of Kobe Bryant’s, Lamar Odom, spoke to VLAD TV recently. He was asked about his transition into the NBA. Much like Bryant, Odom was considering transitioning to the NBA directly from high school. Odom revealed that Kobe spoke to him, gave him advice, and even played a game of basketball with him long before they were ever teammates together.

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Odom said, “I had hung out with him through the Adidas connect because Kobe Bryant was Adidas (at the time) too. And I was able to hang out with him, and we were able to talk a lot. We were with an agent, his name was Arn Tellem, and we actually played one on one. That was a real competitive game, I wish that they had that game on tape… But I just learned, Kobe was always giving me advice even before I was able to join him with the Lakers. He was an extra intelligent dude.”

Odom and Kobe eventually linked up

Odom was able to find solid success in the NBA. Despite not going to the NBA directly after college as Kobe did, he did find success in the league when he finally showed up there. He went to the Clippers in 1999, as the fourth overall pick in the draft. After years of playing for the Clippers, Odom went and joined the Heat for a season, before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers just a year later in 2004.

Lakers Kobe Bryant comes in for a landing as he celebrates his basket late in the 4th quarter against the Nuggets in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center in Denver Monday, April 28, 2008. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In LA, Odom found great success. He and Kobe Bryant formed a strong connection, and the two players were the leaders for the Lakers during those years.

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Four years after joining the Lakers, Odom would play his first-ever NBA Finals together, losing to the Boston Celtics. The duo of Kobe and Odom then came back the next season and won the next two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010, with Odom being one of the key players in both series.

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Lakers fans still look at Lamar Odom’s run with the franchise with fond memories. Aside from Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, Odom was one of the fan favorites for the team.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1157 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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