Former NBA player remembers Kobe Bryant

Bruce Bowen talked about the Lakers great before the memorial service honoring Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.
5:41 | 02/24/20

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Transcript for Former NBA player remembers Kobe Bryant
Join us now is ESPN analyst and former NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs who face off on the court many times against Coby. Bruce Bowen Bruce thanks so much for join us on this day I know your your heart your mind is with Coby and his family today. But I do have to ask you since since you have the opportunity on like maybe anybody else is watching right now what was it like to play with Kobe Bryant to try to cover him. That's a defensive player. Closes joy because he was definitely one of the best and whenever you get a chance to go up against the best. I think that says you know kind of elevates your juices as well to do the best job you can against them. Now don't we know all the things that Kobe is accomplice and and we started battling. There was a there was a bit of it and be from my behalf as far as he has some that I want it. Matting care reform in the beginning because I thought oh look at his swagger he's so Eragon but he was a champion. And so wit that being said it was one play that really earned my respect with Kobe out there on the floor and it taught me the situation. You gotta have a healthy respect for others you can't discredit them for their accomplishments but more importantly work just as hard as they may work. And you may two BA champion. Bruise what was it like every day in and day out because you we talked a lot today about CoBiz disciplined equity come back better and stronger every year. What you understood that he was the site says. A person that would get after his craft he understood that he was going to come back each and every it was something different. One year memory came back a little more muscular and a first see did on a post he says hate. Yeah I've been working out Bruce you can tell hop hop listen Max away so that when you keep had to give me I'll be able to finish my socks. I'll Bruce and you know watching all of this city and then I've I've heard you talk about. The moment you learn of the news when it learned that Kobe had passed away from what's it been like for for players who played with Coby. Hand and just in the general you you're still very much part of the NBA what's it like been for the lead. But I think his it. It's if there's anything we can learn from this is that life is so valuable and we have to really cherish the moments we have with it. You know learning this news what it did was I think you showed it to human aspect for a lot of players even in the competitive environment where. You know you going up against someone and there's a disdain you have. But now because of the human aspect of you see Kobe still impacting the game in a different way. Eat your heart goes out to he and his family and so. When I heard the news it was devastating because this is someone that from the that early times is of us is that on the against one another. I've come to happen and develop a relationship with him. We would sit and talk and in those talks he talked about growing the game. This is one of the greatest players ever pick up the basketball and Nissan about how we need to help this game how we need to continue the process of teaching the game. And so when you see that type of fervent desire to someone who won their heart and effort into sobbed and as as simple as a love that they have. It only makes you that much more appreciative of the time that she got to spend with him. As well as the others. Bruce you talked about things we can more from this experience and and what do you think younger players maybe have. Have learned about Kobe because we have learned so much more about his story about his life his passions and what he wanted to do after basketball. I think if there's anything that a lot of the younger players can learn as his desire and his work ethic. It was not about anything being given to cope. We talk about an eighteen year old as planned at the NBA level. And and contributing. You know in his second year and continue the process of listening to coaches and taking all that knowledge and apply and it's and others as he got older. He saw the way he's willing to work for the guys now there's a town were called to assess a competitor he won a workout with the player. He want to make certain he was doing his due diligence so that he can keep decades. I think his work ethic is something that we all can learn from as far as his hours in the gym spitting time when your craft. We don't just wake up and turn it on like that a lot of players today. Are learning that in all these different Tribune's Jacoby and I think that's the positive if there's anything they can learn from him is that Baghdad. If you work hard and and you have a passion for something great these what happened. By no means am I don't think Kobe ever thought of his legacy quite like this. But it was only because of the person he was and the desire to get better at the game that he loved. Is why everyone has such emotions for he and his family right now. You know on the Kobe when he left the game also spoke about being intimidated and vinik year old what was it about him that that navy players. An opposing fans hated or disliked or or how did he get under their skin. But I think there's a comfort with self that Colby had. Any champion any and Indian in the individual that you know there's a comfort they have with the myself and if you had that comfort in if you're comfortable with the news scandal. There's no greater joy than walking into ability and their screaming different things that you and you're able to silence that crowd. He enjoyed those moments. He works hard for those moments those moments one by happenstance and those moments only took place because of the love that he have for the game of basketball. And the fact that he wanted to continue the process of feeding that's it's easy and others as well. All right Bruce Bowen for us Bruce thank you so much for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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