NBA: Tony Parker says Kobe Bryant ‘always had impact on my career’

Former San Antonio Spurs star guard Tony Parker revealed in a recent interview some touching details of how the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant impacted his career.

Asked about why it was important for the French star to attend Bryant’s memorial program, Parker said the Los Angeles Lakers great “always had an impact (on his) career.

“It was important to be there because he always had an impact on my career. He was always there for me, giving me advice and text messages. He was just an unbelievable player. Maybe the closest to Michael Jordan, who I think is the best ever. I played against Kobe in his prime. I will always have fond memories of Spurs-Lakers, which was a classic with all of us in our primes. We will definitely all miss him.”

Parker, of course, was a key figure in the Spurs’ dominance of the 2000s and 2010s, always making it into the playoffs and winning four NBA titles in the process along with Hall of Famer Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Parker also bared that the last time he and Bryant met was during the FIBA World Cup in China last year, where the two chatted about growing women’s basketball.

“The last time I saw Kobe was in China last year when he was an ambassador for the World Cup. We were sitting together having conversations about women’s basketball and how we can grow it. He knew that I owned a women’s team and was investing a lot in women’s basketball. It’s just sad that I can’t see him anymore. I wish we could have done all that stuff together, because we would have done great stuff together in women’s basketball.”

Parker owns a club team in France while Bryant, of course, dedicated his post-NBA career to his Mamba Academy for girls basketball.