While Kobe Bryant may be retired, he continues to watch film on a daily basis and chat with a number of NBA stars. One of his disciples this season has been Isaiah Thomas, who leaned on the Lakers great for advice in the aftermath of his sister’s passing.
In a feature story on ESPN, Jackie MacMullan chronicles the budding relationship between Thomas and Bryant. Though they didn’t know each other well until Dec. 30, 2015 –– when Thomas had a long conversation with Bryant during his final game as a Laker in Boston –– they communicate on a regular basis. When Bryant heard Thomas’ sister, Chyna, died in a car accident before Game 1 of the Celtics’ series against the Bulls, he reached out to express his condolences.
Thomas responded by asking the five-time champion whether he should take the court.
“I told him, ‘Listen, I don’t know whether you should decide to play or not play. Obviously none of us can begin to fathom what you are going through right now,’” Bryant said. “But then I told him, ‘The one bit of advice I would give you is, if you are going to play, then you gotta play. Maybe you can find some peace in moments out there.’”
Thomas heeded Bryant’s advice, scoring 33 points in Game 1 of the series. Nearly two weeks later, just one day after delivering a eulogy at his sister’s funeral, Thomas notched 33 points in Boston’s Game 1 victory over the Wizards in their semi-finals matchup.
Thomas also called Bryant when the Celtics fell down 2-0 to the eighth-seed Bulls. Bryant says he went over a “conceptional lesson” of how to watch film with the point guard. Boston won six consecutive contests –– four against the Bulls, two against the Wizards –– after that.
“I was happy to help him. He had the courage to ask. I did the same thing with Michael Jorsan when I was a young player,” Bryant said.
During his playing career, Bryant tormented the Celtics on the court. But now, in his post-playing days, he might be one of the reasons for their success.
Full article @ Isaiah Thomas leaned on Kobe Bryant for advice after sister’s death
Source: GreenStreet Blog