Jerry West Gives Harrison Barnes the Kobe Bryant Treatment


General manager Mitch Kupchak admitted today that he believes that this upcoming season will be Kobe Bryant’s last in the NBA. We all assumed that would be the case, but it’s just a difficult pill to swallow.

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Bryant has been spoiling us for nearly two decades now. Part of the reason Bryant has been successful for such a long time is his desire to learn from those who came before him. Bryant is a student of the game and he worked with Jerry West early in his career.

West would not only work with Bryant on the court, but talk to him about the history of the game and that time off the court was as valuable as the on court work outs. Well, it looks like Kobe is not the only one to benefit from the Jerry West training camp. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, West worked with Harrison Barnes this past off-season in Los Angeles:

"For a young man from Ames, Iowa who grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, the idea of being mentored by the man who brought him to Los Angeles and built so many of the Lakers’ championship teams as a general manager was as surreal as it gets. The fact that West had never done this sort of thing with anyone not named Bryant or Barnes made it even more special."

Barnes was the top rated recruit coming out of high school and had a successful career at North Carolina, but did not live up to the expectations in his first two seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Barnes was considered to be a special talent, but has had trouble to live up to expectations after a successful campaign in the playoffs as a rookie.

West, now an advisor for the Warriors saw something special in Barnes. After several attempts to get together, West finally invited Barnes to Los Angeles where he put him through some of the same workouts that Bryant went through as a young Laker.

Barnes started this season and has played great in these playoffs for the Warriors. It looks like the time he spent with the Logo are really paying off.