A trio of All-Star rivals held a dinner celebrating Kobe Bryant and his career during the NBA’s marquee weekend in Toronto.
Kobe was the guest of honor at the ultra-exclusive gathering this past Saturday night, and shared plenty of laughs, food and drinks with organizers Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.
Bryant says he was extremely touched by the gesture.
Per the AP:
“It was really special,” Bryant said on Sunday night after scoring 10 points in his last All-Star appearance, a 196-173 win for the West over the East. “Those are the things you don’t get a chance to hear when you’re competing against each other. To hear those stories now, you have such a deep sense of appreciation and such a brotherhood from all the years of competing against each other. It just felt good.”
The dinner was secret, super-exclusive, invitation-only. It’s something the trio started doing last season at All-Star weekend, calling the gathering the Gentleman’s Supper Club. This year, the group wanted Bryant to be tied into it somehow. […] So after All-Star Saturday festivities ended, the group headed out to the party that mattered most to them. Dinner was a fish dish, and it wasn’t served until after 2 a.m. The wine and spirits were flowing long before that, and for a little while afterward as well. By the time everything had wound down, sunrise wasn’t far away.
They gave him some silly gifts. They presented him with a giant bottle of wine, a 1996 vintage in a nod to his rookie season. And they told Bryant what he meant to their lives. […] “This is amazing,” Bryant said at the restaurant, glass in hand. “I’m not the most social person, so to get this from you guys means absolutely everything to me.”