“Shirt in Mouth Was a Lifelong Habit for the GOAT”: Rare Image of Kobe Bryant Traces Back Iconic Action, Leaves Fans Amazed

Published 05/01/2022, 10:30 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)

Kobe Bryant was a big soccer fan besides basketball. Kobe’s off-court activities were as surprising as his on-court performance. As a child, Bryant would think of all the different moves he would do during the game. He was a big-time Lakers fan, watching Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy.

The Lakers drafted Bryant at the age of 17. Though by the time the season started, he had turned 18. Not only that, but at that young age, he really thought that he would be the leader of the team. Young Bryant was a determined and curious player.

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Kobe Bryant fans react to his childhood picture

An old picture of Kobe Bryant and his father at a football match was shared on Twitter. When Bryant was six years old, his family moved to Italy. Kobe Bryant had his shirt in his mouth in the picture which reminded the fans of his habit of biting his jersey.

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Fans on Twitter remembered Bryant but most importantly, corrected wording for the sport.

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Growing up in Italy, Kobe spoke fluent Italian. His father pushed him to play basketball, and so he did. Kobe would dominate in the little leagues and develop into a freakishly athletic player. But besides basketball, Bryant showed his interest in football.

Bryant used to hangout with Messi and Neymar

Kobe was a big fan of Barcelona. And to many’s surprise, his soccer skills were pretty good. Bryant once visited Neymar Jr. and his team’s practice session while showing off his skills. He also did a commercial with Messi, to add more to his favorite sport outside basketball.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Shaquille O’Neal Unveils Resurfaced Video of Kobe Bryant Destroying MVP Steve Nash by Putting Him on a Poster

There are other international players like Luka, Jokic, and Embiid who show their interest in playing soccer. It is great to see NBA players showing interest in other sports, and connecting with other professional players.

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Balraj Singh Babrah

185 articles

Balraj Singh Babrah is an NBA writer with EssentiallySports. He has been an NBA fan since 2016, and watching Curry shoot from distance inspired him to play basketball. Additionally, he loves analyzing and predicting games based on stats.

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