Over the course of his illustrious NBA career, the late Kobe Bryant developed numerous relationships with his peers. In fact, he even rubbed elbows and became acquaintances with the family members of some of them. Many may not know, but Dennis Rodman’s family was one of them.
A start of something unexpected
Rodman and Bryant weren’t really the best of pals, but the pair may have somehow bonded during the former Chicago Bulls forward’s 23-game span with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unknown to some, Bryant’s oldest daughter, Natalia, played on the same soccer team as Rodman’s youngest daughter, Trinity. This connection started an unexpected relationship between “Black Mamba” and “The Worm’s” children.
According to Rodman’s son, DJ, he still vividly recalls how Bryant would surprise them by showing up at Trinity’s soccer games and in the coffee shop where his older sister, Teyana worked.
“I went up to him and I was like, ‘Hey Kobe, hey Kobe, you played with my dad’,” DJ told The Spokesman “I was so young I was like, he’s not going to mind if I come up to him. I’ll just act first instead of think first.”
“He would come down once a week, every week, and just say what’s up to here, say hi, get some coffee, bring her flowers,” he recounted. “It was just awesome. He was awesome.”
A young Rodman learned from Bryant
Fascinated by Bryant, DJ made the most of the brief moments with the Lakers superstar in the flesh, and the young Rodman managed to forge a friendship with Bean in the process.
“Weeks after weeks he’d come to the games, I’d just talk with him, I’d just sit down with him,” DJ revealed. “We’d just talk, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was that young, I didn’t know if I wanted to play basketball. But he always told me to just work hard and always compete and be the person everyone loves. And always live life to the fullest, which I try to do every day.”
DJ was one of the many who had been devastated by the passing of Bryant. But though his old friend is no longer here with us, DJ was fortunate enough to have spent a few pep talks with the NBA legend.
Needless to say, Bryant’s advice did the youngster good as he grew up to become one of the most notable college hoopers of the Washington State Cougars.