Kobe Bryant’s pre-draft training tape sees the light of day after years of being locked up by NBA assistant


In the 1990s, technology was not as advanced as it is today and teams had to use VHS tapes to record players’ training. This was of course the case when Kobe Bryant was working for teams before the 1996 NBA Draft.

In an interview with Andrew Greif of Los Angeles Times, former Los Angeles Clippers assistant Rex Kalamian was tasked with operating the video camera during Bryant’s training for the team. After the draft each year, the team would save the footage as there was no need to keep footage of a player the team had not drafted.

However, Kalamian ended up keeping the video footage of Bryant and locked them up to keep them safe. Now a video of this workout has been posted by the Los Angeles Times for the world to see.

“This one, I knew it would be something I would like to see again someday,” Kalamian told the Los Angeles Times. “I kind of put it aside and kept it in a box for a really long time. ”

While the video quality isn’t the best, it’s still phenomenal to see a glimpse of a 17-year-old Bryant who had just emerged from a glittering four-year career at Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia area. Bryant did a series of practices, including one where he attempted several layups in a row.

Kalamian, who is currently an assistant to the Sacramento Kings, recently showed the video to Kings head coach Luke Walton, a former teammate of Bryant. Additionally, Kalamian had a member of the Clippers video department convert the video to a digital file.

“I went through the video room about an hour later and there must have been about eight people around the monitor,” he said. “They were all amazed. They had just watched an hour of Kobe Bryant at the [17] years old doing a workout. ”

Years later, Kalamian actually told Bryant that he still had the footage in his possession. Ahead of one of the games between the Clippers and Lakers, Kalamian had a ball boy deliver a CD case to the Lakers’ locker room for Bryant.

It’s unclear if Bryant has watched the footage yet, but Kalamian believes he likely has.

The Clippers will certainly regret not taking Bryant with the No.7 pick in this fateful draft. Instead, the team picked Lorenzen Wright, who has had a productive 14-year career. However, there was only one Bryant and the world continues to cherish his memory.


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