We are four days away from Kobe Bryant being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Bryant played 20 seasons in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Throughout their career, he averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He arguable is known to be the closest thing to Michael Jordan and the second-best shooting guard of all time.
There are numerous individuals that have Kobe Bryant stories, including former Lakers trainer Marco Nunez. He was with the organization from 2008-19, and shared a couple of stories on Tuesday afternoon.
“During the 2008 season or 09 seasons, we were in Oklahoma City, and the lockers are on one side, and the training room is on the other side up. It is connected by the bathroom and goes through there without going through the hallway. So, during time Kobe would always get a contrast bath before shootaround. So, we would get there for a shootaround, and at the same time, we have to unload all the equipment to help the team get ready,” said Nunez.
“Before the players can go out for a shootaround, Phil Jackson does this meditation session with all the players. His thing was, if you are in the locker room while this was going on, you had to stay in the room. So, I’m unloading the trucks and vans to help set everything up. I need to get a hot pad, and I think the ball boy from the visiting locker room did not have one. He had to run over to the other locker room to get one. He finally brings it back, so I had to haul a*, so I had to leave the training room, and as I turn the corner, the lights were already dim.”
“They are already mediating, so I can’t move. When I walk in, I am holding an ice pack and hot pack in each hand, and KB [Kobe Bryant] is sitting to the left of me, and on the other side is Phil Jackson. I froze, but KB sees me walk in. He looks up and says he gestures to put them both down, and I look at him and shake my head no. Then I point at Phil, and KB is lipping somethings to me, and I tell him no and point to Phil again,” shared Nunez.
“He lips something else, and I go slowly, wrapping him and trying to make no noise. I locked it, tear it, I sneak out, and now I think I’m good. After the whole meeting, Phil walks around and says two words to me, “you’re fined.” He fines me for disrupting the practice. It was a hundred bucks; I went to find KB and said MF, you got me fined, and he starts laughing. He is like, that’s your fault; you should not have done it then.”
I asked Nunez did Kobe offer to pay his fine and he stated not at first.
So, what happened was when it was time for Frank Hammon to collect the debt, I asked him for a layover plan, etc., and he starts laughing. It turns out Bryant already took care of it for Nunez.
Bryant went on to win two more championships in 2009 & 10 and was named back to back Finals MVP.