The 2015-16 Lakers were not the most enjoyable basketball ticket in the NBA. 17 wins, isolation basketball, and plenty of rookie mistakes made for an often excruciating brand of hoops in Los Angeles.
Despite their on-court issues, the Lakers had plenty of storylines surrounding them. The biggest of these stories by far was that of Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and subsequent retirement. All eyes were on the Lakers legend as he prepared to step away from basketball after twenty years in the Purple and Gold.
Bryant’s demeanor, attitude, and greatness have made him the subject of numerous great stories. Roy Hibbert, now with the Charlotte Hornets, appeared on The Ringer NBA show to discuss a variety of topics. Chief among them: a hilarious story about Bryant in Hibbert’s lone season in Los Angeles:
“We had practice at 11; say 11 to 12:30. And then 2:00 we gotta be on the plane. So we’re all on the plane, all the guys but Kob’. Usually if you don’t make it to the plane, you get fined and then they leave you so it’s up to you to get to the city.
But it’s different for some people. […] 2:00, we’re supposed to take off. 2:15 we’re sitting on the plane still. 2:30, we’re like “what the hell?” Sometimes, Kob’ will just meet us in whatever city. […] So our plane is sitting there, and then all of a sudden we see Kobe’s helicopter about 50 yards away.
So when you charter flights, they have a little van that carries the pilot and the stewardesses from the other plane that they came from. This [helicopter] lands 50 yards away and we see the shuttle drive 50 yards to go get him. We’re all on the plane like ‘it’s not that far of a walk,’ you know? […]
Security gets out, Kobe gives security his bags. And then he gets in the van, drives 50 yards. We’re all like, ‘This is crazy, this is Kob right here. This is big time.’ So when he walks in, he has his shades on, and he walks in. He’s Kob’, he’s always dressed to impress, he has his Kob’s on.
So we start clapping for him. Then he lowers his shades and he was just like ‘What are y’all clapping for?’ and he was just like ‘Man, y’all should be happy I’m on this g–d— plane flying with y’all. You should be happy I’m here.'”
Well lucky for you, Lakers Outsiders has an exclusive photo of the event: