Jamal Crawford reveals favorite Kobe Bryant memory
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant left his imprint wherever he went. As his stellar basketball career started winding down, he started widening his interests on the off-court ventures. His presence was felt at all times, and no one could attest to that better than Jamal Crawford.
Crawford enjoyed an eventful, 20-year NBA career, getting to play with countless stars and win multiple accolades for his play. Bryant and Crawford faced off against one another 28 times over their careers, with Kobe winning 16 of those matchups. The Sixth Man extraordinaire’s favorite memory of the Black Mamba, however, wasn’t anything that happened on the court.
“My favorite memory of Kobe was in the summer and we were both playing in the celebrity softball game in Seattle,” Crawford said. “We started talking. Kobe has this aura about him, by the way, where he could make superstars, not saying me, but I’ve seen superstars get nervous around him. He just stood out. He was something different. So we were at the softball game, and it was my pro-am game later on and i finally built up enough courage. I’m like ‘Kobe man, will you come watch me play tonight. Everybody thinks you’re coming anyways. Will you come?’
“He said, ‘You’re playing.’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I’m coming.’ And somebody from Nike was like, ‘Nah, we gotta go back to LA, we gotta go.’ He said, ‘No, I’m going to watch Jamal play.’ He moved his plane back. He had him, his wife, his daughters, whole family come watch me play and I scored 63 points. And it wasn’t because of me. I’m telling you. I remember driving over like, ‘Damn, Kobe’s behind me in the car right now.’ I’m calling everybody like, ‘Get to the Pro-Am, Kobe’s coming!’ And so he had that aura about him and that was the dopest moment for me because he had every reason in the world to say, ‘No I’m not coming,’ or ‘I’ll do it another time, it’s last minute,’ and I would’ve totally understood, but the fact that he moved everything to come was unbelievable to me.”
The Crawford story perfect encapsulates who Kobe Bryant was as a person to many around the league and not those just around the Lakers. As he transitioned out of playing basketball, he turned into a mentor for a lot of current players and even started coaching youth basketball.
Here’s the game Crawford was talking about, the 63-point performance he put up in front of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant in July of 2014.