If you love something, if you have a strong passion for something, you would go to the extreme to try to understand or try to get it.
Either ice cream, Cokes, hamburgers, whatever you have a love for.
If you have to walk, you would go get it.
If you have to beg someone, you would go get it.
What Kobe Bryant was to me was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way either I played the game or the way that he wanted to play the game.
He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be.
And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.
To do that, you have to put up with the aggravation, the late-night calls, or the dumb questions.
I took great pride as I got to know Kobe Bryant that he was just trying to be a better person – a better basketball player.
We talked about business, we talked about family, we talked about everything.
And he was just trying to be a better person.
I remember maybe a couple months ago he sends me a text and he said, “I'm trying to teach my daughter some moves.
And I don't know what I was thinking or what I was working on, but what were you thinking about when you were growing up trying to work on your moves?”
I said “What age?” He says “12”. I said “12, I was trying to play baseball.”
He sends me a text back saying “Laughing my ass off.”
And this is at 2 o'clock in the morning.
But the thing about him was we could talk about anything that related to basketball but we could talk about anything that related to life.
And we, as we grew up in life, rarely have friends that we can have conversations like that.
Well, it's even rarer when you can grow up against adversaries and have conversations like that.
I went and saw Phil Jackson in 1999, maybe 2000, I don't know, when Phil was here in L.A.
And I walk in and Kobe's sitting there.