As a high schooler in Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant counted among his major influences then-Sixers assistant, now Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. "He was crucial. He was with me when I was 16 or 17 years old," Bryant said after Sunday's win over Golden State. "Just doing drills and just working on ballhandling and just teaching me the game. He was there from Day 1."
For his part, Thibodeau recognized Bryant's prodigious talent right away, writes ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell. It's an interesting story, one of those cool "six degrees of" type things I really didn't know much about. Worth a read.