“Left Handed” – Actor Kevin Hart Reveals The Time He Went To Camp With The Late Kobe Bryant

Published 06/27/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant #24 before taking the court for the third quarter of play in the Lakers 1105-103 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals best of seven series Tuesday May, 19, 2009 at the Staples Center. Tim Rasmussen, The Denver Post (Photo By Tim Rasmussen/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant’s work ethic, aka his Mamba Mentality, has been an inspiration to millions around the world. In fact, his killer instinct has left a lasting impact on the modern game. With all-stars like Devin Booker channeling his inner Mamba Mentality in the current post-season, his legacy is alive and well! Kobe Bryant arguably was one of the hardest workers in the game, as he worked on his craft since his days in Philadelphia.

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Bryant’s obsession for the game also saw him lead the Purple and Gold to 5 championships in his 20 seasons in L.A.

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The Black Mamba was one of the leading players in his school years before making it to the league in 1996. The Mamba averaged 30.8ppg/12rpg/6.5apg with 4 steals and 3.8 blocks a game in his years with Lower Merion High.

Kevin Hart shares a highschool memory of Kobe Bryant  

Hollywood celebrity and comedian Kevin Hart reminisced a memory of the time he shared the court with the Mamba back in basketball camp. Hart, remembering his days in Philadelphia with Bryant, said, “This is a story about when I went to basketball camp. With Kobe Bryant! Me and Kobe went to LaSalle basketball camp, Speedy Morris’s LaSalle basketball camp.” 

But, as the camp went on, Hart quickly realized that his dream to make it to the NBA did not match the level of work it took. He realized Kobe Bryant was a different breed when a particular incident led to Speedy Morris revealing Kobe’s main focus.

He added, “Over the summer. I show up at camp. Kobe Bryant is at the camp. Kobe Bryant at the time is the number one basketball player nation, this is huge. I noticed myself following Kobe Bryant. We are layup lines, we warming up. I’m tagging behind Kobe wherever he is I just want to be in the vicinity because I want to be where the great players are.” 

While Kobe went about fine-tuning his game, coach Morris wasn’t too impressed with the other candidates. Following an incident on the 3rd day at the camp, a disappointed Morris said – “Look at Kobe Bryant. He shows up here every day. He works. Kobe Bryant hasn’t put the basketball in his right hand since he’s been in camp. He’s here to only work on his left hand.”

Hart added that – “Kobe Bryant approached the camp to only work on his left. He never shot the ball with his right hand. He never dribbled the ball what is right here. Kobe Bryant played us left-handed.”

Bryant and basketball – An obsession

Hart paid homage to the late Hall of Famer, as he said – “The moments where I thought that I was playing some of the hardest defense ever, or moments with Kobe Bryant was just counting in his head one dribble to dribble three dribble for the main was above and beyond the word.

“He was great then we didn’t even know that he was practicing on us until the head coach made us all feel stupid for not working as hard as he was.” 

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Watch this story – Anthony Davis Jayson Tatum & Other NBA Players Who Kobe Bryant Has Mentored

As Bryant has openly admitted to, his goals in his high school career and then the NBA revolved around having a ‘kill list’ that would lead him to ascend the ‘GOAT mountain’ as he went farther in his career.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 15: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers boxes out Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 15, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright: 2008 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

And in doing so, not only did he become one of the greatest players of all time, but he also transcended the game to heights unknown. He left a legacy that will forever live on in every young kid, who while shooting a turnaround jumper, yells “KOBE!”

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Nikhil Naik

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