A Defeated Kobe Bryant Turned On His Philly Charm After 43YO NBA Champ’s Heartfelt Request

Published 02/08/2024, 7:43 PM EST

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Kobe Bryant was never a charmer. The world remembers Mamba as a determined legend who even sat with a sore face after a finals victory saying “Job not finished yet.” So, if his reaction after a win is that serious it’s hard to imagine him going through a loss. Former NBA Champion Richard Jefferson recites one such incident where he had made an awkward request to Kobe after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Kob’s response will shock him and you.

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In the latest episode of ‘Road Trippin’, Jefferson shares this rare ‘Kobe story’, “So my parents are both from Philadelphia, right. Mom, stepdad, they’re both from Philly. They lived there for a short amount of time, so they’re, you know, they’re Philly people, hardcore. So my parents were out for a game, we’re playing the Lakers. Luke’s on the team, Devin George, Kareem Rush, all those guys, all those guys, they’re on the team. And after the game, my parents, you know, we’re sitting there in the little tunnel, and my parents are like, ‘Hey, hey, can we meet Kobe?’ And we had just won, so I’m like, ‘Fu*k!'”

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Despite thinking that Bryant was not going to be receptive to him, especially after a loss, Jefferson proceeded to the locker room anyway for his parent. What followed was unexpected, “I go track my ass over to Kobe who’s, you know, 15 feet away, and I’m like, like a fuc*king kid, I’m like, ‘Hey, Co man, like sorry to bother you bro, but like my parents are from Philadelphia, they just would really like to meet you and say hello.’ He comes over and has like a five-minute conversation.” 

In the end, Jefferson was appreciative of Kobe who turned on a charm offensive.

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The Kobe Bryant Statue Unveiling

The LA Lakers are preparing to pay homage to Kobe Bryant with a monumental tribute—a statue to be erected outside the Crypto.com Arena. Scheduled for unveiling on a significant date, February 8, 2024, the choice is symbolic, aligning with Bryant’s iconic jersey numbers, 8 and 24, while also honoring his daughter Gianna, who wore No. 2.

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Bryant will join an esteemed group as the 12th individual to receive this honor at the Star Plaza outside Crypto.com Arena. He follows in the footsteps of Lakers icons such as Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and Elgin Baylor. Additionally, other notable Los Angeles athletes commemorated with statues outside the arena include Wayne Gretzky, Oscar De La Hoya, Luc Robitaille, Bob Miller, and Dustin Brown. While De La Hoya gained fame as a legendary boxer, the latter four distinguished themselves with the LA Kings in the NHL.

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Written by:

Akashdeep Banerjee

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Akashdeep Banerjee is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. After Graduating in Journalism and Mass Communication he forayed into visual Media. A fan of the NBA for the better part of a decade.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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