Kobe, LeBron & Magic

Sun.Star Baguio - - Prime Sports - AL MEN­DOZA

KOBE Bryant ar­rives. Chats for a while with Magic John­son. Kobe finds his seat at ring­side. Sits there. Smil­ing.

The crowd roars to greet Kobe Bryant’s ar­rival at Sta­ples Cen­ter, the iconic home of the NBA’s Lak­ers in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia.

Did I not say here once that I was at Sta­ples Cen­ter in 2006 to watch a live Laker game, star­ring Kobe Bryant?

I was then with my bo­som bi­las Jun Mag­turo and golf/ wine mate Tony Sisante.

From Sta­ples, we mo­tored to a Chi­nese joint called Full House. I had the most de­li­cious won­ton noo­dles in that iso­lated nook of the Cal­i­for­nia el­bow. But that’s an­other story.

Once Kobe Bryant had him­self seated this evening for the Laker-Nugget game, LeBron James had ob­vi­ously taken the cue. In no time, the old LA Show­time was back.

But there are tales more com­pelling than that. Be­fore watch­ing LeBron and the Lak­ers de­feat the Nuggets, Kobe Bryant in­tro­duced his book “Mamba Men­tal­ity.” It was high­lighted by a book-sign­ing cer­e­mony at­tended by a throng of Laker devo­tees.

In his hey­day as a Laker for decades that pro­duced NBA ti­tles un­der the fa­mous coach Phil Jack­son (he also gave Michael Jor­dan and Chi-

cago six NBA crowns), Kobe Bryant was fa­mously monikered “The Black Mamba.”

You want more of Kobe Bryant?

OK, sit tight, fel­las.

Do you know why the Bryants named their son, Kobe?

Well, Kobe’s par­ents love to travel. In one of their trips—to Ja­pan—they stum­bled upon a joint spe­cial­iz­ing in beef. Kobe beef was the joint’s spe­cialty.

Kobe’s par­ents be­ing beef-lovers, they had a feast of the world-famed Kobe beef.

So, even be­fore Kobe could see the light of dawn, his par­ents al­ready named him Kobe. And Magic John­son?

Like Kobe, Magic won tro­phies while be­ing also a Laker all his NBA life.

He wasn’t born Magic.

An Amer­i­can sports­writer gave him that be­cause of John­son’s un­canny abil­ity to dish off as­sists with­out look­ing.

No one now prac­ti­cally knows any­more that Magic John­son’s real name is Earvin John­son.

The no-look pass phrase was in­vented be­cause of Magic John­son, who could play guard, for­ward and cen­ter—all with equal dexterity. Mag­i­cal.

Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Week­ends

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