Anthony Davis Reflects on His Relationship with Kobe Bryant

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers is one of only a few current NBA players that had a genuine friendship with the late, great Kobe Bryant. In reality, before ever stepping foot on an NBA court, Davis was Kobe’s teammate during the 2012 Olympics, when their bond was formed.


It would continue to expand over time, and Davis is now attempting to carry on Kobe’s legacy with the Lakers. Davis, like many others, has many amazing Bryant stories, but the one he cherishes the most is more personal than most.

Davis appeared in a fitness video for YouTuber Faze JSmooth. Following that, he answered a few questions, and when asked about his favorite Bryant memory, he recalled Kobe bonding with his small daughter:

“My favorite Kobe memory is when, and I have a video of it.” I was in his gym, Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, and I had recently given birth to my baby. I brought her to the gym where I was working out, and he was there that day, and she was about seven or eight months old. And he grabbed her, and she never actually went to anyone, but she was just so joyful, smiling and laughing with him. That was really cool to see coming from someone who has all girls and Mambacitas basketball-wise. He was able to make her grin, laugh, and just play with her, and she was in a pleasant state. ‘Man, whenever she’s ready to work, come join the Mambacitas, she’s always got a place here,’ he said. So it was just him connecting with my daughter, who was around seven or eight months old at the time.


“I still have a collage of pictures of me and Kobe from our career, Olympics, hanging out, whatever, in my basement downstairs.” And she would always walk past it, she first asked me while I was at my other residence, ‘who is this?’ I told her who he was, showed her the video, and said, ‘This is Uncle Kobe.’ And she was like, ‘Well, where is he? I want to meet him,’ and I told her what happened, the tragedy, and everything like that. And now, whenever she shows the house to someone, she walks by the picture and says, ‘here is my daddy’s friend, and this is my uncle, Uncle Kobe.’ So having that memories to show her and how connected they were when she was just seven or eight months old was priceless. So that’s probably my greatest, memorable Kobe experience off the court is with my daughter.”


Kobe has long been known as a ‘girl dad,’ so his instant affinity with Davis’ daughter Nala comes as no surprise. And for her to embrace that link, even if she was far too little to remember it, is a memorable moment for Davis.

There is little doubt that the Lakers star will never get rid of that footage, and it is simply another proof of Kobe’s lasting impact on so many people.

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