How Kobe Bryant Impressed Jeanie Buss During Their First Meeting: “He Did Something I Will Never Forget”

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

How Kobe Bryant Impressed Jeanie Buss During Their First Meeting: “He Did Something I Will Never Forget”

 

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among the nine people on board the helicopter that crashed and left no survivors in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26.

Ever since that tragic day, fans and players and everyone around the league have honored the NBA legend in every imaginable way, rightfully so.

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss shared a story of how Kobe Bryant made a lasting impression on her in their very first meeting in 1996.

Back then, Jeanie’s father Jerry Buss owned the Lakers, but when Kobe came to visit the Forum for the first time since signing with the team, Jeanie Buss was the only front office member around, so she had the honor of accompanying him. Buss revealed that even though Kobe hadn’t played a single game for the Lakers, she already was smitten.

Transcript via Essentially Sports:

 

“As fortune would have it for me, no one from my family was present at the Forum that day and our PR guy suggested I join he and our newest player for lunch in the Forum club.

The kid was charming and bright and was excited to be a part of the Lakers. It was hard for me to believe he was just 17-years-old.

Then he did something I will never forget. He attempted to speak to our waiter in Spanish since he was moving to Los Angeles that he already spoke Italian, that he wanted to add Spanish to his abilities. I thought that was so sweet. I was smitten, and he hadn’t even played a game.”

 

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