Kobe Bryant helped Jahlil Okafor overcome street fight incident as rookie
Okafor is one of the players who is changing his jersey number to honor Bryant.
“I went through an incident my rookie season and had a lot of bad publicity,” Okafor said, via NBA.com. “(Bryant) talked to me and told me not to worry about the outside noise, and let me realize that everybody makes mistakes. Just hearing that from Kobe Bryant at the time, because it was the first time for me being in a negative spotlight, it really meant a lot and took a lot of pressure off my back, having Kobe Bryant tell you that.”
Bryant tragically passed away on Sunday in a terrible helicopter crash. Eight other people died in the crash, including Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Everyone needs to keep Vanessa and Kobe’s surviving daughters in their prayers right now. It’s impossible to understand what the Bryant family is going through.
In 1,346 career games for the Lakers, Bryant cemented himself as an all-time great. Coming straight to the NBA from high school is no easy move, but Bryant finished his illustrious NBA career with averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard was an 18-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, 15-time All-NBA team member, two-time Finals MVP and five-time champion.