Bryant and Payton were teammates on the Lakers, but their relationship began before that during an All-Star Game:
“Kobe was just a little different,” Gary Payton said about the late Lakers icon. “He didn’t have no ego. He did have an ego, but I’m saying an ego in asking OG’s what to do. And how to become better.
“And when he approached me at the All-Star Game and asked me how to make First Team All-Defense and I sat there at center court and taught him a lot of things and he made the First Team All-Defense with me that year, I said this kid has a lot of different things in him, a different mentality.”
Kobe Bryant did this with Michael Jordan, too. The Black Mamba once asked Jordan for advice during a game in Chicago and His Airness was more than willing to help since he saw a lot of him in Kobe.
Bryant, the greatest player in Lakers franchise history, was named a first-ballot Hall of Famer a few weekends ago. It's going to get really emotional when it is time to present Kobe since he is no longer with us.
Bryant finished his Lakers career with averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He won five championships and two Finals MVPs.
Kobe will always be No. 1 in the hearts of Lakers fans around the world.