The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are bitter rivals, but that doesn't mean they don't have respect for each other. Despite dueling for years in the NBA, Celtics legend Kevin Garnett was particularly close with Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.
Garnett spoke about his relationship with the late Bryant and shared how much he meant to him on “The Stephen A. Smith Show.”
“I miss Kobe every day, man,” Garnett said. “We celebrate him like he's still alive and I love that … When I have another son someday, I don't know when and where, but I'm going to dedicate a son to Kobe.”
Bryant tragically passed away in 2020, leaving the basketball world in utter shock. And while Garnett isn't known for being the most friendly player on the court, it's clear the two Hall of Famers created a strong bond over the years.
In fact, they embarked on similar career paths. Kevin Garnett went to the league right out of high school, getting drafted in the first round in 1995. Bryant did the same next year, forgoing college to join the NBA in 1996.
Garnett was a 15-time All-Star, one-time MVP, and an NBA champion in 2008. Meanwhile, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, one-time MVP, and five-time champion. Both legends played at least 20 seasons and called it quits in 2016.
“When I actually met Kobe he was a real kid,” Garnett said. “We were both kids. I saw when he was nervous, when he was a human being, and when we would cry … We were gullible about [the NBA] and we wanted it so bad. That was my bro.”