While participating in pre-draft workouts in 1996, a teenage Kobe Bryant was photographed sporting the apparel of the team that is considered to be the arch-nemesis of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 17-year-old NBA hopeful can be seen doing drills while wearing a Boston Celtics outfit in four photos that were posted on Twitter.com.
The photos were posted on Wednesday, Dec. 30 by Ryan Ward of LakersNation.com. Perhaps Ward would have been better off posting the photos on Dec. 31, though; they are perfect for “Throwback Thursday.”
Prior to establishing himself as a Hall of Fame-caliber professional basketball player with the Lakers, Bryant was just a kid with a dream working out for interested NBA teams. His projected pro potential caught the attention of teams that had secured lottery picks in the draft, including the Celtics.
Bryant would go on to be taken by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was then traded to the Lakers. The Celtics passed on him; they had the sixth overall pick.
The 1996 draft was loaded with talent; it is considered to be one of the deepest drafts in NBA history. Bryant was drafted right out of high school; he attended Lower Merion in Ardmore, Pa.
Now that the Lakers star is playing in his final NBA season, it is hard to picture him playing in any other team’s jersey, let alone a Celtics jersey. He has spent his entire 20-year NBA career in Los Angeles.
Bryant has faced the Celtics twice in the postseason. He and the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals; that series lasted for six games. Two years later, he and the Lakers beat the Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals; that series went to seven games.
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on Aug. 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pa. He is 6-feet-6 and weighs 212 pounds. He is a five-time NBA champion and 17-time NBA All-Star. He is 37 years old.
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