‘Beat The Living Sh*t Out Of Me’: Raptors’ Kyle Lowry Revisits His First Encounter with Kobe Bryant

Published 01/20/2021, 11:30 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Laker Kobe Bryant #24 as the Lakers beat the Jazz 107-96 to win the series during game five of a first round Western Conference playoff basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Monday April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)


Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant left his mark in the NBA after a glorious two-decade career. Even though he isn’t here with us now, NBA players cannot stop reminiscing about their best memories with him. Recently, Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry shared a story of his first encounter with Kobe in the NBA.

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He said, “I think I’m a pretty physical defender, and I (was) a young pup. And I can tell you he beat the living shit out of me without even having the ball. But that is just how he played the game.

“He was way more physical on offense than defense. That was his thing. He would beat you up before you even got the ball. He was going to get to his spot, he was going to throw elbows, he was going to push you off, and run through you however it took. The referees were like, ‘I don’t see nothing.’

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“But that was just his game. There’ll never be another guy like that.”

Kobe Bryant: Always intense

While the league has often been branded ‘soft’ recently, Kobe came into the league when it was tougher and more physical. And when you are one of the best players in the league, you are bound to attract more physical contact. So this is what molded Kobe’s play of style, as Lowry described.

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Lowry pointed out how intense Kobe was on the offensive end, but he had the same intensity on defense too. He is considered one of the greatest scorers of all-time, but he is also a 12-time All-Defensive team member. Right from his young days to his last seasons with the Lakers, he never lost his intensity and gave the opposition a tough time.

This intensity is what helped Kobe to win five titles with the Lakers. Partnering with Shaquille O’Neal for his first three rings, their duo dominated the league during that three-peat. Later he showed that he can without Shaq too, when he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

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As his death anniversary creeps up, players and fans across the league will be preparing for an emotional rollercoaster.

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Aaron Mathew

1529 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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