Kobe Bryant aspired to be bigger than Will Smith off the court, per Shaq
Even as a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant had big plans for his legacy. Bryant’s future teammate and NBA on TNT broadcaster Shaquille O’Neal reminisced on the time where a 17-year-old Bryant told him that he was going to be the best player in the world and off the court, bigger than Will Smith.
Kobe had big plans from the start. pic.twitter.com/MqFdyPVQnj
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 29, 2020
After a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant certainly will go down as one of the best players in league history. The 2008 NBA MVP cemented himself not only as a great basketball player but as an inspiration to the current generation.
Off the court, Bryant followed in Smith’s footsteps by releasing a hip hop album in 2000 titled ‘K.O.B.E’. Bryant also won an Oscar as a producer in his 2017 short ‘Dear Basketball’.
Bryant passed away this weekend at the age of 41 after a helicopter accident took his and the lives of eight others. The incident happened in Calabasas, California, and also took the life of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi.
While they had their feuds as teammates, on the court, the Kobe and Shaq duo was utterly dominant. After O’Neal joined the Lakers in 1996, the team would rattle off three-straight NBA championships from 2000-2002.
O’Neal, like Bryant, also made his mark off the court. With multiple acting credits in fields such as acting, business, and music, it seems that Shaq shared Bryant’s vision for his future.
As for Will Smith, the veteran actor is one of the biggest names in Hollywood still today as well as being a successful musician.