Even though Kobe and Joe Bryant had a close relationship and played one-on-one hundreds of times, the Black Mamba got his competitiveness from his mother, who guarded a young Kobe back in the day during their basketball games as a family.
Kobe Bryant’s mother is so competitive that the Lakers icon once had to dunk on her at 14-years-old. It’s a moment Kobe and his mom laughed about.
Kobe Bryant talks about his mom
During an interview with Graham Bensinger in 2012, Kobe Bryant discussed dunking on his mom and how she was a “firecracker.” Kobe’s dad was obviously competitive since he was a professional player, but Mrs. Bryant was more aggressive.
“I get my competitiveness from my mother, that’s for sure,” Kobe said. “She’s the competitive one. My father is competitive, but he’s kind of like very happy, go-lucky guy who has a mean streak in him, but he’s such an extrovert. My mom is the real firecracker.”
Bryant dunked on his mom at 14-years-old and told Bensinger that he was fouled on the play as well. If only we had footage of this iconic moment.
Despite getting his edge from his mother, Kobe Bryant’s biggest battles came against his father in their classic one-on-one games.
It was a war the first time Kobe Bryant beat his dad
The first time Kobe Bryant beat his dad in a game was also the last game they played against each other. According to Kobe, Joe Bryant never played his son ever again after losing for the first time.
“I remember it was a war, I remember that,” Kobe said. “After I beat him, I remember he never played me again. That was it. He didn’t want me to get him back for all the years he was kicking my butt in the backyard. It was extremely physical.”
Joe Bryant played 606 games in the NBA. He averaged 8.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists with the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, and Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant learned many tricks from his dad and became one of the best players in NBA history thanks to his father’s guidance.
Kobe is the best player in Lakers history
Several NBA legends have played for the Lakers franchise. However, Kobe Bryant is the most popular player in LA history and holds many franchise records.
In 1,346 games with the Lakers, Bryant averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He won five championships, two Finals MVPs, one regular-season MVP, and two scoring titles.
Bryant is the Lakers’ all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals, 3-pointers, free-throws, steals, points, and win shares. Both of his jerseys, 8 and 24, are hanging in the rafters at Staples Center.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers eventually build a Kobe Bryant statue outside Staples Center. The franchise will certainly do something big to honor Bryant, who tragically passed away in January of 2020 in a devastating helicopter crash.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.