The following poured out of me while listening to NBATV chatter about a game between LA and Boston. It’s probably woefully inaccurate, but whatever…

“You know, we really came together during Kobe’s Farewell. I think it was that season where we—for the first time—understood each other…as men. We learned what each guy brought to the table; both on and off the court. Everybody’s unique little shit.” -D’Angelo Russell (2027)

“They had a culture already. Before I even got there. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t refined, but it was there…and it was real. I dug the hell outta that. I respected it. They knew the legacy they were a part of.” -Russell Westbrook (2027)

“Dude basically played like the Kobe we all grew up with, not the one we actually played with. Rus was on another level man. Dude played completely unhinged. All the time.” -Jordan Clarkson (2027)

“I think it had a lot to do with how I felt at the end of my last season. I knew I was done playing the game, but I just couldn’t ‘leave’ those guys man. I got to know ’em. Each one of ’em. Their strengths, weaknesses. I felt like I was their big brother. I think that’s what made the transition from player to coach so easy for me.” -Kobe Bryant (2027)

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