How Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni helped inspire Kobe Bryant’s jersey number

Jun 01, 2020 438

BY: Josh Paredes

Between their time living in Italy to their two years together on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Houston Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni crossed paths often. Before Bryant was even close to becoming one of the greatest players in NBA history, he was drawing inspiration from D’Antoni.

Mike D’Antoni began his playing career in the NBA in 1973 but ended up in Italy to begin the 1977 season, where he would become a star for Olimpia Milano until his retirement in 1990. It was there that he became a legend, leading the team to five Italian League titles.

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