Since the passing of Kobe Bryant in January, countless NBA players have shared stories about the NBA legend, keeping his legacy alive.
Now, Jeremy Lin, who spent one season (2014-2015) on the #LosAngelesLakers with Bryant, arguably the worst season in the franchise’s history, recalls his memories with the Black Mamba.
“I remember at this time he had gotten hurt, and he was out for the season, so he wasn’t around for quite some time, just rehabbing and being away from the team and stuff,” Lin recalled on Danny Green’s Inside The Green Room Podcast. “And then all of a sudden after we hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. He walks in the gym, and this is the day before the trade deadline, and we’re all about to start practice. We’re stretching, doing our dynamic warm-up, or whatever.”
Bryant had been out for multiple games that season due to an injury, allowing him to only play in 35 games. The Lakers finished the season with a record of 21-61, making it the second-worst season ever for the organization.
“He comes in, sweatshirt, he has a sling for his hurt shoulder, he has his shades on, his Kobe shades,” Lin continued. “He walks in, and everyone’s like ‘ohhhh’ and Booz, Carlos Boozer, is like ‘Kob! Good to see you, bro! Dang, we haven’t seen you in a bit, how come you came today?’”
However, Bryant responded with an answer that not many players were expecting to hear.
“He was just stone-faced, and he was like ‘I just came by to say bye to some of you bums who are going to get traded tomorrow,’” Lin said. “Then he sits down at the table where you control the scoreboard at the practice facility, and he said a couple words to the coach, and then he left.”
The teammates were left shocked and probably scared from Bryant’s remarks.
“And I remember one of my teammates was just like ‘I lost all motivation to practice,’” Lin added.⠀
The fact that the Lakers didn’t make a trade for the 2015 deadline makes this story even better.