Kevin Garnett Admits He Misses His ‘Little Bro’ Kobe Bryant

Published 05/14/2021, 6:17 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 6: Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during the basketball game against Golden State Warriors at Staples Center March 6, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


The NBA has seen its fair share of talented players coming straight out of high school. Be it current Lakers’ superstar LeBron James or former All-Star center Dwight Howard. But arguably the two most influential players in the same category were Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.

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While the NBA did allow high schoolers to declare for the draft, no high-schooler had declared for the draft since 1975. But KG took a gamble on himself and declared for the 1995 draft. Garnett was drafted as the 5th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jerry West, GM, Kobe Bryant and Head Coach Del Harris (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)

While KG got it done being drafted by the Wolves, another high-schooler was getting ready for the upcoming 1996 draft. Kobe Bryant had impressed in workouts before the draft but ultimately was selected as the 13th pick. He was eventually traded to the Lakers.

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These two high school players transformed into dominant players on the court. While Garnett was a defensive beast and a dominant rebounder, Kobe was fearless, and developed into a great two-way player.

Kevin Garnett speaks about his relation with Kobe Bryant

While they developed into dominant players, KG and Kobe got along quite well. There were many parallels in both their careers. Both of them started out in the NBA after coming out of high school directly. Both of them were pretty intense on the court and always had the drive to be the best.

Despite playing against one another in the NBA finals, ‘the Big Ticket’ and Black Mamba always had mutual respect for one another. In a recent press conference, Garnett spoke about the special bond he shared with Kobe.

“Kobe Bryant was a little bro to me. I got to see Kobe when he was very young and not as polished as everybody got to see him. He was very vulnerable; we were both vulnerable as we were very young and we always used to interact with each other with that youthfulness.”

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“We always talked the game, cracked a lot of jokes on each other but, at the end it was two very fierce competitors…. As much as he wanted to win, I wanted to win it at the same time.”

KG added, “It was a great conversation, great back and forth and great competition. I don’t think I am the only one who thinks that Kobe Bryant is fairly missed. Miss him every day.”

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Kobe and Garnett certainly gave us some of the best battles in the NBA and gave it all on the court. Given how similar their career trajectories were, them being inducted to the Hall of Fame in the same class is the perfect way to cap off an amazing story.

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Aditya Mohapatra

879 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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