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The late Kobe Bryant makes a cameo in Netflix’s new Tony Parker documentary.
Hearing Kobe Bryant talk about Michael Jordan in the epic 10-part documentary series, The Last Dance, was an emotional treat for NBA fans last summer. It appears as though fans of the Black Mamba will get another precious sound bite from the late Los Angeles Lakers legend, as he also makes a cameo in Netflix’s new documentary, Tony Parker: The Final Shot.
The documentary revolves around Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, but as with any great story about Gregg Popovich’s dynastic squad, it wouldn’t be complete without touching on one of their big rivals in the Western Conference, Kobe’s Lakers.
“I’m Kobe Bryant, and I’ve played against Tony … for years,” Bryant says in the clip. “Years and years and years and years. He’s responsible for me not winning more championships.”
Kobe Bryant reminisces on Tony Parker’s early years in the new documentary
Bryant remembers the early stages of Parker’s career as most people do: With Pop not giving the young Spurs guard much room to make mistakes.
“I remember games where Tony had a really, really short leash — he makes one mistake, Pop’s gonna pull him out the game,” Bryant says. “So I would tell Tony, I said, ‘You know what? I’m just gonna trap you. ‘Cause if you dribble the ball off your foot, you turn the ball over, you’re out the game, and I don’t gotta deal with you, ’cause Pop’s gonna take you out.’ But I think that kind of pressure environment is what helped Tony develop and play in those pressure situations.”
This is a wonderful quote that reveals a lot about both of these Hall-of-Fame competitors — both Kobe’s relentless competitive fire to make Parker’s life a living hell, and Parker’s determination to emerge as a trusted, clutch performer forged in the flames of that trial by fire.
“The 2003 series, I feel like for him, that’s when things really clicked into gear for him, and it became very, very difficult for us to handle him,” Bryant says. “I think his game became more well-rounded. And I think he had a pretty good handle on, offensively, what Pop wanted from him.”
Tony Parker: The Final Shot is now available on Netflix.