Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is world-renowned for being one of the greatest players in basketball history. The five-time NBA Champion is considerably more hit or miss when it comes to interacting with his legions of fans. Sometimes folks have gotten lucky, while on many other occasions, the sight of Kobe has been a brief, uneventful experience.
Historically, one of the most difficult places to meet Kobe has been the gated exit to the Lakers practice facility, located at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Maybe it was a tribute to the dedication of the die-hard fans, who braved one of the hottest days in the history of Los Angeles, in hopes of spending time with their Lakers. Or, maybe it was the feeling of optimism associated with Kobe and the Lakers during the first days of training camp. Whatever the scenario, Kobe broke from his normal routine, when he chose to stop and say hello to this group of very adoring fans.
Initially, it looked like Kobe was going to do a drive-by wave, but unexpectedly the car stopped and Kobe rolled down the window and invited the sweltering group over. He signed some autographs, talked to the fans and even exchanged fist bumps with some of the people. Kobe then drove what appeared to be a Mercedes-Benz CLS onto El Segundo’s Nash Street.
One other possible theory for Kobe’s sudden change of approach could be the fact that he was the ultimate winner of the “Summer of LeBron.” LeBron James’ last few months have included yet another playoff disappointment and the controversy involved with taking his talents to South Beach. Kobe, on the other hand, just kept on winning. LeBron’s shortcomings, even more than ever, are in direct contrast to Kobe’s handful of rings. There is no doubt that Kobe is loving every single minute of that. Perhaps, Kobe’s feeling of complete professional satisfaction has impacted the way he goes about his business off the court. Who knows?
In any case, Kobe provided a small group of Lakers fans with memories that will involve far more than living through one of the hottest days of their lives.