‘I Could Brag To My Friends’: John Wall Remembers Getting on Top of Kobe Bryant as a Rookie

Published 01/25/2021, 3:30 PM EST
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant during warmups prior to Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets in Denver May 25, 2009. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Ahead of his death anniversary, the NBA community is narrating their best anecdotes about Kobe Bryant. While most of them shed light on the Black Mamba’s ferocious competitive side, John Wall has a story narrating one that is more centric to himself.

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There was a significant hype surrounding Wall when the Washington Wizards drafted him as the number 1 pick in 2010. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers were coming off back-to-back NBA championships.

WASHINGTON, USA – MARCH 3: John Wall (2) of Washington Wizards celebrates during the NBA match between Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors at the Verizon Center in Washington, United States on March 3, 2017.
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

So, on December 10, 2010, the two guards clashed – one who was the face of the league and the other a young pretender. In one of the moves, Wall got the better of Kobe; only for Kobe to come back at him and have the last laugh. Nevertheless, Wall is still mesmerized about blocking his shot in the first place.

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“I got a switch on Kobe. He was posting me up, and I blocked his shot and the ball bounced to half court. And I went running out there at full speed. He got the ball back and shot a three and he said, ‘Play continues, young fella’,” said Wall.

“That was the first moment I really remember, and it was a big one for me because I could brag to my friends that I blocked Kobe Bryant‘s shot.”

John Wall strives to be like Kobe Bryant on & off the court

The former Houston Rockets guard felt surreal to share the same space as Kobe. Asked what he takes away from him, Wall said –

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“Just what he stood for as a man. He gave everything he had to the game of basketball while he was here on this earth and while he was competing for 20 years. And outside of that, you loved how he became a dad… So everything that you could see about that man was what you want to see in yourself.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Laker Kobe Bryant #24 as the Lakers beat the Jazz 107-96 to win the series during game five of a first round Western Conference playoff basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Monday April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

No surprises here; everyone wants to emulate the late great Laker legend. Wall plays with a lot of energy on the court while continuing his philanthropic endeavors off it. If the former Washington Wizards‘ number 1 pick half of what Kobe did, he will deem his career to be a success.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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