When the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the New York Knicks to the Staples Center tonight, the game will bring together Kobe Bryant and his former coach, Phil Jackson, for one final time before the Black Mamba's retirement.
Jackson and Kobe enjoyed a huge amount of success together in L.A. and they remain in regular contact despite being on opposite sides of the country.
In the run-up to what will be another emotional night in Bryant's farewell tour, Jackson revealed his proudest Kobe moment. Surprisingly, it wasn't any of the five titles they won together as coach and player between 2000-2010.
As reported by the New York Post, the Zen Master, reflecting on his time as Lakers head coach, picked the memories of seeing Kobe fast asleep in his car at around 8.30 a.m. when he was arriving at the franchise's practice facility.
Apparently, according to the report, Bryant used to catch up on his sleep in this way before the team's daily practices having "already had undergone one workout at dawn."
The pair would often then share something to eat before anyone else even arrived:
“I had to respect the dedication, the desire he had,” Jackson explained. “Those moments brought us together. We’d have breakfast before anyone else came in.”
Bryant is well-known as one of the most competitive players to ever grace the NBA hardwood, his drive is part of what makes him one of the best ever. Jackson's anecdote perfectly sums that up.
Although both the Lakers and Knicks are enduring tough campaigns, tonight's game will be a chance to reflect on some of the duo's finest achievements.
Whether Bryant was camped out in his car over the weekend in preparation for the contest is another question, however.