After Kobe’s tragic passing last year, the whole NBA community was in a state of shock, griefing a player and person that impacted the lives of countless people in the world. That tragic event led to numerous stories about Kobe Bryant coming out, further solidifying how great and unique of a basketball player and person he was. This one shared by former NBA player Mario Chalmers is a perfect example of that.
Chalmers was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2008, after an impressive college career in which he made his name known for hitting the game-winning shot in the National Championship for the Kansas Jayhawks. His career with the Miami Heat made Chalmers used to winning, going to 4 NBA Finals and winning two championships, as the starting point guard of the Big 3 Miami Heat led by LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. It was an ungrateful situation, as a lot of criticism and pressure was on Chalmers’s shoulders, but he held his own.
He got traded to the Grizzlies in 2015 and tore his Achilles the following year, crushing his NBA career due to the unforgiving nature of that type of injury. While talking with James Posey on Posey’s “The Posecast” podcast, Chalmers shared the story of Kobe texting him out of nowhere after his injury and sharing a couple of words of encouragement:
“He just texted me, he said, ‘the worst is behind you and the best is coming’… Just to say like, you went through the worst part of Achilles tear like you tore, now it’s just time to focus on getting better and keeping your spirits high. But like when he said this, I was like, who is this? I typed, who’s this? He said, ‘Bean’. I didn’t know nobody named Bean. I’m looking, it’s a Cali number. I’m like I know this, like Kobe Bryant texted my phone. Immediately I hit DWade, I’m like hey man, Kobe? He said, ‘Yeah I told Kobe to reach out to you just to…’, he said Kobe reached out to me, asked me for your number so he wanted to highlight.”Mario Chalmers, via Posecast
Kobe went through the same situation in 2013 after he tore his Achilles in a game versus the Warriors. But Bryant being the fighter he is, would manage to make a return and play for two more seasons, even though many experts proclaimed the injury would lead to an end of his career. So those words of encouragement from Kobe meant the world to Chalmers, who couldn’t believe Kobe would take the time to help in any way a player he had no connections or relations with. Just a classy move by “The Mamba.”