‘Put On a Show’: Rucker Park CMO Explains How Kobe Bryant Made Him a Lakers Fan for Life

Published 09/19/2021, 11:15 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA JANUARY 29, 2013-Lakers Kobe Bryant bites his jersey while Pau Gasol shoots a free throw at the Staples Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


After the season, players generally take their time to recover before getting back to work. However, Kobe Bryant was a different beast altogether. He didn’t know the concept of rest, even though he may have won the championship.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The best example of this is the time he played at the Rucker tournament. Recently, Rucker CMO Rashon Well spoke about how Bryant putting a show in the Rucker tournament made him a life long fan.

Lakers Kobe Bryant drives past Warriors Klay Thompson in the 1st quarter at the Staples Center Friday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

WATCH THIS STORY: Tiger Woods, Novak Djokovic & Other Athletes That Expressed How Much Kobe Bryant Meant to Them

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kobe Bryant always putting on a show

The ‘Mamba’ had only just completed his three peat with the Lakers and Shaq a few weeks ago. However, with very little knowledge to anyone, he pulled up at Rucker park.

But Kobe Bryant made his mark and Well couldn’t love it enough. He said, “My favorite memory will have to be Kobe Bean Bryant. I was about 15 or 16 years old and I remember he had just won an NBA championship. It was the third championship that he had won with LA Lakers. Never in a million years would I think the Kobe Bryant would be out here, and he said, ‘yes I won an NBA championship but my legacy is not complete till I played at the Mecca.'”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He added, “If you watch the highlights, he wasn’t playing like Kobe Bryant in the NBA. He was throwing it in both people’s hands, bouncing it off their backs, doing 360 layups.

“So, it was important for him not only to come out here and put on a show, but it was important for him to put on a show how we put on a show here in Harlem. So hands down, that was my greatest moment here is meeting Kobe Bryant. And how cool he was on top of it, it made me a Lakers fan for life.”

Watch This Story

LOS ANGELES, CA. JAN. 04, 2015. Lakers’ #24 Kobe Bryant all smiles after an assist from teammate Carlos Boozer in a game vs the Pacers’ in the 1st half of the game at Staple Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 04, 2015. LA Lakers play the Indiana Pacers in a regular NBA season game. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Stats didn’t do justice to the ‘Mamba’s’ impact that day in 2002. He ended up with 15 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds before rain put a stop to the show. However, it was a revolutionary day at the Rucker. Since that, many NBA players showed up to compete.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Lakers Dwight Howard Gives Solid Response to Fans Who Called Them ‘Old Heads’

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Anuj Talwalkar

388 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT