Jerry West might be the guy whose shape enhances the National Basketball Association logo design, however he’s likewise the guy accountable for making Kobe Bryant a Los Angeles Laker.
The eight-time NBA champ talked to CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” about his relationship with the previous Lakers super star and his ideas about his late pal, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
“I’ll keep in mind [Bryant] as somebody that I enjoyed like a sibling. The lively minutes with him, a few of the amusing things and exchanges we had. Watching him when he initially began to what he ended up being,” West informed CNBC.
Bryant, 41, his child Gianna, 13, and 7 other individuals passed away Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California.
West, a previous gamer and 14-time NBA All-Star, went on to coach the Lakers and ultimately transferred to the group’s front workplace. He lagged the Lakers’ dynasty in the ’80s and is the happy owner of 8 champion rings over his life time. He is likewise the guy who is credited with bringing Bryant to the Lakers after managing a draft-day trade with the Charlotte Hornets.
West saw Bryant’s skill for basketball early on and didn’t avoid the 17-year-old, regardless of his only playing in high school.
Jerry West and Kobe Bryant greet prior to the video game in between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew D. Bernstein | NBAE by means of Getty Images
“We just fell in love with him. From the time we worked him out in Los Angeles, and particularly the second time we worked him out … from then on was like, I love this, how do we get this guy?”
The 2 established a bond throughout the years. West stated his boy would drive Bryant around and his partner would prepare him Italian food for supper.
“He was one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen, but he also was one of the very smartest players we’ve ever seen,” stated West.
While Bryant accomplished a lot on the court, West likewise took pride in his off-court contributions, especially when it concerned assisting females’s basketball.
Bryant assisted provide a voice to the Women’s National Basketball Association and its gamers, typically participating in video games with his child.
“He was a bright light” for females basketball gamers, West stated. “Whatever he did turned to gold, and I think that’s who he was as a person.”
On Saturday, Bryant’s idol, Michael Jordan, will be inducting him into the Hall of Fame. From a young age, Bryant appreciated Jordan and even attempted to design his video game after him.
“This will be a historic night to honor an iconic player who is no longer with us, and it just doesn’t seem right, to be honest with you,” stated West. “To have his idol there introducing him … I think we all feel a little bit robbed because of that.”