‘Knocked Out 10 People’: Former Lakers Teammate Discusses Kobe Bryant’s Boxing-Like Playing Style

Published 04/12/2021, 1:00 AM EDT
SAN ANTONIO – MAY 7: (FILE PHOTO) Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey in Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at SBC Center on May 7, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Bryant was released on bail by the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado July 6, 2003 after posting a $25,000 bond on a felony count of sexual assault. (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant was always the transformational leader who could bring the best out of his Lakers teammates. He would practice what he preached and let his work do the talking. Be it the Mamba Mentality or the insatiable hunger to continue doing 1% better, the Lakers’ late legend was a generational inspiration.

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Out of many who benefitted by playing alongside or even opposite Kobe, Metta World Peace was a beneficiary. The small forward played six seasons for the Lakers and retired a year after Kobe.

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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and his ‘Muhammad Ali’ side

In a recent interview with WBC phenom Ryan Garcia, Ron Artest revealed what it was like to be Kobe’s teammate. The 41-YO retired player expressed, “RIP my brother Kobe, man. It was magical. That’s why when he passed away, I still don’t believe to this day. We know what happened, but it’s just hard to believe that he’s not here, really difficult… Just imagine being on the court and you know that you gotta, it’s like you’re gonna throw an uppercut and you know the same uppercut is going to work every time, knockouts. And the fans are waiting for it and boom, another one, and boom, another. He knocked out 10 people with the same uppercut.”

Metta World Peace joined the Lakers after extremely consistent six years that he distributed amongst the Pacers, the Kings, and the Rockets. However, he reaped all his fruits only when he joined the roster (2009) that had Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in it. 

Read also – Canadian Basketball Player Describes His Experience of Playing Against Kobe Bryant

Lakers Kobe Bryant consoles Pau Gasol late in the 4th quarter against the Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center Sunday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

When the Black Mamba took his teammate by surprise

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Kobe Bryant had been a tough nut to crack for Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtics. In Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals, even as the Lakers lost 86-92 in a low-scoring game, Kobe managed 38 points. He played for 44 minutes to help with 44% of the team’s total score. Metta World Peace further added in his interview, “Just watching Kobe is like, he had 25 straight points in Game 5 in Boston, all of our points, nobody scored on our team from third to the fourth. I remember watching it in the finals, and like ‘snap out of it, you’re in the game’. 

Ron Artest also mentioned how he himself was a workaholic, but Kobe would surprise him with his insane work ethic. Metta remained a crucial perimeter shooter and a great defender for the Lakers as he grew his game with the help of Kobe Bryant. 

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Which other player(s) do you think Kobe impacted the most? Help us know your views in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1424 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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