Remember when Kobe Bryant asked an L.A. Laker on the first day of training camp, “Are you ready to black out, black out, black out?” It was a moment that captured the attention of the entire NBA world, and for good reason. Bryant isn’t exactly known for his off-court antics, but he has a reputation for being a player who puts on a show.
Last week, Kobe Bryant became a father for the first time to a baby girl named Natalia Bryant. The Lakers’ star player, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered last season, was at her birth and met the little girl for the first time. In a recent Instagram post, Kobe asked his youngest teammate Brandon Ingram, who is only 19 years old, to introduce him to his daughter. This led to a hilarious ‘Blackout’ scenario, which you can check out in the video below.
For most of his 18-year career, Kobe Bryant has been surrounded by “spots” when it comes to his ability to pick up the rhythm of just about anything. He’s often been referred to as the “Black Mamba” because of his ability to go on epic scoring streaks, but also because he’s had a history of losing focus in the middle of games, which is why he’s always been referred to as “the Blackout.”
We’ve all heard famous Kobe Bryant tales about how hard he worked with the Los Angeles Lakers to master his skill. You probably don’t realize how far he pushed the envelope until you’ve played with or coached him.
Bryant’s former Lakers teammate Caron Butler, on the other hand, recently addressed their friendship and revealed some details about Bryant’s work ethic.
Spoiler alert: It was so difficult that they “blacked out.”
In the Shaquille O’Neal deal, Caron Butler was acquired by the Lakers.
On July 16, 2004, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Kobe Bryant, and Brian Grant attended a Lakers news conference. | WireImage/Steve Grayson
Between the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA finals appearances, including a three-peat.
The Lakers, on the other hand, traded O’Neal to the Miami Heat in 2004. Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, and Brian Grant were sent to LA in exchange. Los Angeles also received future first- and second-round draft choices from Miami.
Butler has only spent two seasons with the Heat after being selected with the No. 10 overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft. In his rookie season, the UConn product averaged 15.4 points and 5.1 rebounds, but in his second season, with Dwyane Wade and Lamar Odom in Miami, he only averaged 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
When he joined the Lakers in 2004, his career took a turn for the worst, as he soon realized how much effort it required to be one of the best players in the game.
Kobe Bryant inquired about his Lakers teammate’s readiness to ‘black out.’
On Jan. 21, 2011, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers plays against the Denver Nuggets. Getty Images/Doug Pensinger
Butler recently featured on Duncan Robinson’s podcast The Long Shot, where he discussed his interactions with Bryant after being traded to the Lakers.
“First day, press conference, I’m with Kobe; he signs a $136 million [deal], I’ve never seen anything like that before, so I’m like, ‘Wow, this is crazy,’” says the player. Butler said in the show of August 19th. “As soon as he signed it, he said, ‘Are you ready to f—ing blackout?’ ‘What is a blackout?’ I wondered. ‘We’re about to f—ing blackout,’ he says. ‘Please arrive at 7 a.m. tomorrow.’
That does seem scary.
Butler then explained what a “blackout” entailed.
“We began working out the following day, and I learned what a blackout exercise was,” Butler recalled. “It was like, you’re getting your repetitions in, 50 shots each location, 100 makes off the move,” she said. You’re receiving all this nonsense, and then you’re so exhausted that you see spots. You’re passing out. That was followed by a blackout. … You go grab something to eat (after the exercise) and have three to four hours to yourself. And then you return, and you black out once more.”
Butler said that they did so from the start of free agency until training camp, which helped him understand that “this guy is different.”
Despite all of their hard work, Bryant and Butler were able to establish a connection that extended beyond basketball because of the time they spent together.
After leaving the Lakers, Kobe Bryant maintained contact with Caron Butler.
The Lakers missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993-94 and just the second time since 1976-77 in that season. Butler’s career took off when he was moved to the Washington Wizards in 2005, where he averaged 19.4 points and 6.6 rebounds while earning two All-Star appearances from 2005-06 to 2008-09.
Bryant went on to win two more championships and become an NBA icon few seasons later, but he never again played alongside Butler on the Lakers.
They remained close, though.
Butler stated on The Long Shot, “I miss the phone calls and simply the subtle planned message that he would just call me with.” “Five-minute discussions that seemed like we were on the phone for hours, where he just had key points he wanted to convey and precise call to actions he wanted me to concentrate on… In that six-minute discussion, he seemed to sketch out the next 20, 30, 40 years of my life. And that’s what I miss the most, but I’m happy I received it.”
During those blackout sessions, Butler seems to have gained Bryant’s respect, which allowed them establish a connection outside of basketball and become more than simply former teammates. They grew up to be brothers.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: Kobe Bryant Celebrated a Lakers Playoff Win by Giving a Reporter One of His ’17 or 18′ Beers He Didn’t Buy
Kobe Bryant was a guest at the Lakers’ practice on Monday, and he was all smiles as he suited up with the Black Mamba squad. When asked about his new teammate, Kobe revealed his thoughts on the team chemistry, and his thoughts on the squad’s new captain. “I’m excited to be a part of this squad,” said Kobe, who was issued a new Lakers uniform, along with a new basketball and a pair of shoes.. Read more about kobe bryant quotes and let us know what you think.
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