With just ten games left in the Lakers' regular season, and officially out of the playoffs, the final curtain call on Kobe Bryant's NBA career is just around the corner. Earlier this week, the hip hop community was hit with the sad news of A Tribe Called Quest's member Phife Dawg dying due to lifelong complications with diabetes. When Kobe was drafted by the Lakers in 1996, he entered the league well after A Tribe Called Quest had cemented their place as one of the most influential rap groups of all time.
After Friday night's loss to the Nuggets, he was asked by reporters if he had ever listened to Tribe. Kobe stated, “Of course I did.” He continued to lament on the impact of the 5-Foot Assassin,
“It's the passing of a legend. I mean, he made timeless music. That's very hard nowadays with music being in the moment. What they've been able to do is make music that stands the test of time. You can release a Tribe album, and it's just as relevant and hot now as it was then. That's speaks to the attention to detail and perfection of their craft.”
The following question from another reporter was about the type he selects to motivate himself and set his mood before games. He responded,
“I always listened to music that brought me back to a moment in time because I think the game is such an emotional one. I always tend to listen to music that brought me back to a moment in time in which I had a certain emotion. Whether it was high school or weather it was being a kid in Italy. Or my first few years in the league, whether it's calm, excitement, that's what music does for me. It's not just listening to music, but whatever music is going to put me in the right emotional setting that I feel is important for that game.
If Tribe was in Kobe's pre-game playlist, we wonder what songs gave him the emotion and motivation to become the best player of the past twenty years. Maybe “The Jazz (We Got)” after he shot those airballs his rookie year against Utah in the 1997 NBA Playoffs? Or even “Oh My God” for dropping big numbers night in and night out for 20 seasons? Maybe even “The Infamous Date Rape” to bring him back to that fateful moment that made him lose numerous endorsements in Eagle County, Colorado during the Summer 2003? OK, let me stop.
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