Kobe Bryant‘s in the midst of a rough (and potentially final) season, so he and others have begun to look back at his incredible 20-year NBA career. In Caron Butler’s recently released autobiography, Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, Kobe wrote the foreword. And in it, he explained that he rarely got close to many teammates over the years. In fact, he names only four that he had a “connection” with.
They are, in no particular order: Caron Butler, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and… Ronnie Turiaf.
In his own words, here’s the key excerpt from Kobe’s foreword, via NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk:
It’s very rare for me to open up to somebody like that, but I just had a connection with him. He’s one of my favorite teammates.
When that happens, it makes the season better. It doesn’t always happen. It’s not something that I need to happen, but there are certain players that I just automatically get along with. You gravitate to each other because you eye to eye on things and you get along extremely well. And Caron was one of those players.
There aren’t many like that. There’s Caron, there’s Pau, there’s D. Fish, and Ronnie Turiaf. That’s four guys in a twenty-year career.