The laughs kept coming as Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox and Robert Horry reflected on their three NBA championships they wont together. So much that Bryant once remarked tongue in cheek that the Lakers somehow collected those rings from 2000 to 2002 despite their goofy personalities.
But at a recent event titled “American Express Teamed Up” all three players showed their competitive side as well. In a conversation moderated by NBA Inside Stuff’s Kristen Ledlow, Bryant, Fox and Horry explained how they never became satisfied with their riches. They shared what drove them. And they shared illuminating stories along the way.
Below is an edited portion of the nearly hour-long conversation.
Ledlow: “Kobe, how long have you played basketball?”
Bryant: “As far back as I can remember. I remember two years old and three years old when I started playing. I would take rolled up tube socks and shoot them on the wall. The sport consumed me at an early age.”
Ledlow: “How have you taken those lessons from an early age to now? How old are you now?”
Bryant: “I’m 37. I think I get confused. I think I’m 37 or 38. I will be 38.”
Ledlow: “Those basketball lessons you were taught at an early age. How did you apply them?”
Bryant: “It’s understanding that it’s all connected. The things you go through with life, you try to figure things out constantly and now it’s about how you navigate them doesn’t change. The industry may change. But how you navigate a sense of self can change.”
Ledlow: “These people are some of the biggest fans in the world. They want to know and I want to know some of your friends and family know you that maybe some of your teammates have known along the way.”
Bryant: “When I don’t play, I’m not the Black Mamba. I’m laid back. I’m a pretty chill, human jungle gym for my kids. I love movies, fantasy movies. I love reading children’s books and novels and things of that sort.”
Ledlow: “What’s so odd for this season is that everywhere you go, people want to hug you. That probably was not the case earlier.”
Bryant: “It was uncomfortable at first. You’re so used to going to these arenas and being the villain for all these years. The first time I had gotten an ovation, it’s like woah. This is weird. But it’s great.”