Kobe Bryant has always been a fan of the NBA and its history, and he’s also a big fan of the game itself. He’s not just a basketball player, but an athlete in general. One of his favorite players is Michael Jordan, who was once referred to as “a clown” by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Kobe Bryant once received childhood advice from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who told him not to model his game after a specific player he thought spent too much time being a clown. Read more in detail here: joe bryant.

Several legendary players have worn the purple and gold for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the years, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant are two of the most influential in club history.

Both Abdul-Jabbar and Bryant were born in separate periods. During the 1970s and 1980s, the former was a Lakers star, while Bryant rose to prominence in the 1990s and 2000s. That isn’t to say their paths didn’t intersect. In reality, Abdul-Jabbar and Bryant had already met before the Mamba joined the league.

When Kobe was still a child, Kareem offered him guidance.

Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s father, met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his dad, Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant, in 2010.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his dad, Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant, in 2010. Before Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on April 27, 2010, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant embraces his son, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. | Getty Images/Stephen Dunn

Before becoming a Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant’s father had a successful career as a professional basketball player.

Joe “Jellybean” Bryant was the No. 14 overall selection in the 1975 NBA Draft, although he spent his entire career with the Philadelphia 76ers, from 1975-76 to 1978-79. During his four seasons in Philadelphia, he averaged 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game before joining the San Diego Clippers for three seasons, averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. Joe then went on to play for the Houston Rockets in 1982-83, averaging 10.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

During his NBA career, Joe met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who joined the Lakers in 1975-76 after six seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. According to USA Today, Kobe, who was born in 1978, met Abdul-Jabbar while he was a member of the Clippers and wrote about it in his book The Mamba Mentality. He was even hoisted above his head by the 7-foot-2-inch NBA star.

A few years later, the two Lakers legends crossed paths again, and Abdul-Jabbar offered a young Kobe some basketball tips.

Kareem advised Kobe not to imitate Darryl Dawkins’ style of play.

Los Angeles Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 2017.

Los Angeles Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 2017. On Dec. 18, 2017, Kobe Bryant (left) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (right) celebrated Bryant’s retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers. | Getty Images/Harry How

According to CBS News, Kobe lived in Italy from the age of six until he was thirteen, when his father, Joe, was a professional basketball player there.

According to USA Today, Abdul-Jabbar visited Italy for an Adidas seminar during Kobe’s stay in the nation. At a sponsorship dinner, he sat with the Bryants, and it was then that the league’s all-time leading scorer, Darryl Dawkins, offered Kobe some crucial advice: model his game after his father’s, not Darryl Dawkins’.

According to USA Today, Abdul-Jabbar stated in 2020, “Darryl wasted so much time being a clown and not concentrating on the finer elements of the game.” “Darryl, like Shaq, was tremendously and physically talented. But he didn’t realize his potential and didn’t put it to good use. Kobe would never do anything like that. Kobe would have squeezed every ounce of potential out of himself, which he did. You saw him for what he was: a serial murderer. That’s because he learnt how to utilize it properly and to make the most of his abilities. I have a great deal of admiration for him. He got the most out of his game and played it wisely.”

It’s unclear why Abdul-Jabbar singled out Dawkins. Was Kobe happy with his performance? Dawkins was a dynamic player who averaged 16.8 points per game for the New Jersey Nets in 1983-84, although he was never named to the All-Star team. Was it because Joe Bryant and Dawkins used to be teammates? They were teammates with the Philadelphia 76ers when they first joined the league in 1975. They were even teammates on a squad that reached the NBA Finals in 1976-77.

The latter seems to be the case, although Kobe’s professional path diverged from that of his father and Dawkins. He outperformed them in every manner possible.

Kobe Bryant, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, became a Lakers icon.

In 1996, after being chosen No. 13 overall by the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe Bryant was traded to Kareem Abdul-old Jabbar’s club, the Los Angeles Lakers. Due to their success in the purple and gold, the two grew even closer, since Kobe had a career that was more similar to his than Dawkins’ or his father’s.

Take a look at each of their professional achievements.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I’m Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and I’m

  • 19 players have been named to the All-Star team.
  • 6 titles in the NBA (5 with the Lakers)
  • 2 MVPs in the Finals
  • There are six league MVPs.
  • Scored twice more than anybody else in the league.
  • 38,387 points in his career (No. 1 all-time)

Bryant, Kobe:

  • There are a total of 18 All-Star selections.
  • 5 titles in the NBA (all with the Lakers)
  • 2 MVPs in the Finals
  • NBA MVP in 2007-08.
  • Scored twice more than anybody else in the league.
  • a total of 33,643 lifetime points (No. 4 all-time)

It’s fair to question how much of a difference Abdul-guidance Jabbar’s made to a young Kobe Bryant, but Mamba would have been a superstar with or without it. Abdul-Jabbar had no idea he was speaking with an NBA great at the moment.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant Greeted a New Lakers Teammate by Immediately Asking if He Was Ready to ‘Black Out’: ‘You See Spots,’ says the narrator.

Kobe Bryant once received childhood advice from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar told him not to model his game after a specific player he thought spent too much time being a clown. Reference: abdul jabbar.

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