Kobe shares All-Star experience with daughter
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
HOUSTON — Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made Friday a Take-Your-Daughter-To-Work-at-All-Star-Weekend.
Wearing a jean jacket and an Alexander McQueen T-shirt, Bryant had has 10-year-old daughter Natalia on the dais with him.
“It’s beyond special,” Bryant said of Natalia sharing the experience with him. “I was just excited that she actually wanted to come to work with me today.”
No matter the drama or angst surrounding the state of the Lakers — 25-29 and in 10th place in the West, 3½ games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth seed at the All-Star break — Bryant is confident and comfortable in his place, worried about nothing but winning another title.
For the day, Bryant and Lakers center Dwight Howard stopped the verbal lobs and addressed their business without involving the other player.
Just a few steps away, Howard was less comfortable, answering questions about his health and his future with the Lakers.
It’s the difference between a five-time NBA champion, 15-time All-Star, four-time All-Star MVP, NBA MVP and two-time Finals MVP with a clear Hall of Fame future and a seven-time All-Star with no titles and a murky future.
Amid the Lakers’ struggles, Bryant oddly enough is having one of his best individual seasons in recent years, averaging 26.8 points, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds — part of the exclusive 20-5-5 club — and shooting 46.4% from the field. His scoring was up earlier in the season, but when he realized the Lakers needed him to distribute, he began piling up assists.
Since Jan. 1, Bryant is averaging 6.4 assists and went a stretch in late January in which he had three consecutive games with double-digits in assists.
But Bryant has had enough individual accomplishments. He wants one more title. While matching Michael Jordan’s six titles is not Bryant’s goal, winning a sixth title drives him.
But Jordan and Bryant will be linked because of their singular desire to win titles. Bryant certainly appreciates what Jordan did and how it allowed Bryant to enter the league and do what he has done.
“The biggest thing was him having this athleticism and the flashy game, but he was extremely fundamentally sound,” Bryant … [For more on Kobe Bryant shares All-Star experience with daughter, click here.]