Russell Westbrook Details the Impact Kobe Bryant Had on Him Growing Up

Published 01/25/2021, 11:54 AM EST
Dec 31, 2020; Washington, DC, USA; Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards celebrates after making a three pointer against the Chicago Bulls in the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


Kobe Bryant is easily one of the most impactful players on the modern generation of players. Players that have entered the league over the last few years did not get their chance to watch Michael Jordan in his prime. However, a lot of these players grew up when Kobe Bryant was the biggest star of the NBA.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

One of those players is former league MVP Russell Westbrook. Brodie spoke about Kobe and the impact he had on him growing up after the Wizards lost to the San Antonio Spurs. Westbrook grew up in Los Angeles during the infamous early 2000s three-peat by Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Just his attention to detail and his intensity. I’ve already been watching Kobe since I was growing up. Obviously one of my favorite players being in LA, so just watching him being on the court for me was a blessing because a kid like myself, growing up in LA, being on the same court as Kobe Bryant. For me, it’s just an unbelievable experience.

Kobe Bryant: His importance on the current generation of players

Russell Westbrook is an 11-year NBA veteran who owes that much to Kobe Bryant. He was drafted in 2010, so he was just about a teenager when Kobe was dominating the NBA. However, a lot of the younger players only remember watching players like Kobe play in their prime.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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)

Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and many other players have spoken about the profound impact watching Kobe had on them. Booker got a chance to share the court with Booker while Tatum was drafted right after Kobe’s retirement. Players like D’Angelo Russel got a chance to be Kobe’s teammate and got to learn from him first-hand.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On the eve of Kobe’s death anniversary, many players will start remembering everything he had done for the sport. Westbrook may be part of the older guard of the current NBA, but still remembers Kobe fondly.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT