Wade was in awe of Bryant, who served him plenty of buckets.
“The guy that I chased. It gave me something to live for… so I’m watching him & his jersey is going up in the rafters… & the basketball chase has faded.” — @DwyaneWade on @kobebryant's legacy. #Ko8e24 pic.twitter.com/jkImvUEqcS
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) December 19, 2017
D-Wade says Kobe was the player he was constantly chasing throughout his own Hall of Fame career.
“My first game vs. Kobe and I wind up getting switched off on him, and when I was guarding him he was just like making all these noises. And I’m like he ain’t worried, he has no concern, nothing. I’m out there, my mind is racing, my heart is pounding, and he out here like (makes noises) bucket, (makes noises) bucket. That was one of my first encounters guarding Kobe, and he hit his first shot on me. Came up, pull up three. You just remember all these moments.
“A story I told him, that first game I got a chance to rip him, I stripped him, I went down and scored. We lost by like 30 easy, but that moment for me was huge. I called back all my friends, all my family, I was like yo, I ripped Kobe tonight! Ya’ll see it? In Kobe world, I don’t think I was a blip on his radar yet. In my world, that steal was huge.”