On the day of Kobe Bryant's first death anniversary, several NBA players looked back on their first match up with the Los Angeles Lakers great. Houston Rockets big man DeMarcus Cousins, who was part of the Sacramento Kings during that time, realized that his dreams had actually come true upon seeing Kobe.

Cousins fondly remembers facing the Lakers for the first time during his rookie year in the 2010-2011 season. As he was prepping up for the opening tip, he saw Kobe walking over. He told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that's when he realized that he was actually a legitimate NBA player.

“I remember the jump ball against Andrew Bynum and looking over and seeing Kobe. That's when it was surreal. That's when I realized I was really part of the NBA.”

Cousin shared his first Kobe encounter story along with the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and many others. Like Cousins, all of them had a memorable first meeting with the Black Mamba.

In Cousins' rookie season, Kobe was fresh from winning back-to-back titles with the Lakers. Records reveal that in Boogie's first official meeting against the five-time NBA champion, the Purple and Gold defeated the Kings, 112-100. Cousins finished with 11 points and six rebounds. He shot just 3-of-13 from the field. As for Kobe, he dropped a triple-double with 30 points, 10 boards, and 12 assists.

DeMarcus Cousins' memory, however, might be a little foggy now as Bynum did not play in that game. But then again, it's pretty understandable to forget all the other details when you're about to face Kobe Bryant for the first time.