Like many NBA players, the legendary Kobe Bryant had a profound impact on Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan.
After practice on Tuesday, Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan spoke to reporters about Kobe Bryant’s legacy. Jordan and Bryant never played together, but they shared the city of Los Angeles while they played for the Clippers and Lakers, respectively.
"Just praying for Vanessa and the kids, their entire family…he was everybody's favorite player. His determination, loyalty to a franchise, the battles. He was a great competitor. I feel like everybody has taken something from him."
DeAndre Jordan speaks to Kobe's legacy: pic.twitter.com/umrlNbcYTa
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 28, 2020
“Just praying for Vanessa and the kids, their entire family…he was everybody’s favorite player,” Jordan said.
Bryant’s most prominent characteristics like determination and loyalty stick out to the Brooklyn center. He mentioned that every player has learned something from Kobe through the years.
Jordan was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2008. Spending eight years there, he saw just how important Bryant was to the city of Los Angeles and how the legend was able to capture the love, respect, and admiration of fans.
The one memory of Bryant that Jordan singled out goes all the way back to his rookie year in 2009. He played well in his first game against the Lakers and afterward, Bryant approached him.
“Hey, young fella, you’re going to be a hell of a player. Keep working, I love what you’re doing,” Jordan recalled Bryant saying.
Jordan remembers being in shock after this conversation and telling his brothers that Bryant talked to him. It is clear that Bryant’s kindness impacted Jordan more than words can describe. Being in the locker room across the way from a legend like Bryant for all those years is an experience in and of itself for any player.
In addition to Bryant’s on-court accolades, he was known as a devoted father to his children. That aspect of the tragedy struck a chord with Jordan.
“I have a son and, you know, you do whatever you can for your kids,” Jordan said. “That is definitely something that is on my mind and on my heart right now for his family. You want to be able to protect your kids no matter what.”