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Karl Malone’s ear-whisper message to Kobe Bryant before Thanksgiving in 2003

Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Lakers

During the 2003-04 season when he was on the Los Angeles Lakers, Karl Malone helped Kobe Bryant become a better leader.

New York Times best-selling author Jeff Pearlman recently joined the Lake Show Life Podcast and he talked about how Malone guided Bryant during the 2003-04 campaign with some small tips that went a long way.

Via Jason Reed of Fansided:

“It’s the day before Thanksgiving and all the players are leaving and Karl Malone spots Kobe Bryant walking out of the locker room and he goes, ‘Yo young buck, come here.’ He whispers something into his ear.

“Kobe then goes player to player and wishes them a happy Thanksgiving. He needed someone to tell him that he needed to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Little things like that — he needed those veterans to guide him along.”

The 2003-04 Lakers wound up losing to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. Los Angeles traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat in the summer of 2004, while Malone retired from the NBA.

As everyone knows, Bryant won two more titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. The Black Mamba made it a point to get one more ring than O’Neal, who won his fourth championship in 2006 with Dwyane Wade and the Heat.

Bryant is hands down the greatest player to ever play for the Lakers. He won five titles, two Finals MVPs and one regular-season MVP Award. While Kobe is no longer with us, his legacy and spirit will always live on, as legends are never forgotten.