Los Angeles Lakers: What Kobe Bryant could have still given basketball

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Mentoring the next generation

As he announced his retirement, Bryant declared that he was at peace with his decision as he had given the game everything he had, and he did not have any intention to return to the Lakers franchise in any capacity anytime soon. He already had the next chapter of his life planned, set to spend it between his production company and his family.

Anyway, he did not shy away from his duty of future Hall of Famer to mentor the fresh blood. Kobe spoke multiple times about his willingness to share his knowledge and pass it to the next generation of NBA players.

He understood that at the end of a career, reaching accolades and success was not important anymore as much as sharing everything he had learned through a life of sacrifice to make sure that his legacy and the legacy of those who had come before him went on. It was part of the cycle; fulfill the duty of the preservation of the game, and help and inspire young players as others did with him before.

Bryant had already started doing it during his playing days, mentoring All-Stars like DeMar DeRozan and Kyrie Irving. He continued into retirement helping players such as Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard in summer workouts. He also put under his wing younger recruits like Kyle Kuzma and Jayson Tatum.

Most recently, he held a mini-camp this past summer at his Mamba Sports Academy where he invited a group of veterans and rising stars, the lucky few who had the chance to receive the lesson of a lifetime of how to think and see the game of basketball through the Mamba Mentality.

But he did not stop there.

He challenged Giannis Antetokounmpo to get to the next level and reach his full potential. It also looked like young All-Star Trae Young would have been the next in line to receive the Mamba’s advice and follow in his footsteps.

Kobe Bryant had still a real treasure of knowledge to share with the young players who inhabit the league. He was mentored by legends like Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon and passed it along to the younger generation as well.