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Buddy Hield recalls first workout with Kobe Bryant: “My arms were like noodles”

buddy hield

New Orleans Pelicans guard Buddy Hield (24) and forward Cheick Diallo, left, celebrate a score against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Phoenix. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 120-119 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Kobe Bryant is one of the all-time great NBA players, and players like New Orleans Pelicans rookie Buddy Hield grew up idolizing the former Los Angeles Lakers star.

So what was it like when Hield got to work out with Bryant after the 2016 NBA Draft?

Hield, the No. 6 overall pick, recounted meeting his hero in a recent article on The Players’ Tribune. In it, he describes growing up with Kobe as his hero, hearing from Bryant on draft night, and beating the 2008 MVP to the gym.

From The Players’ Tribune:

The way we did our shooting drills impressed me even more. It was different. After warming up, we didn’t do a normal shooting workouts — like taking 10 shots from one spot and 10 from another. Kobe was having me copy specific moves he was doing, and then repeating them over and over until I got bored of doing them. It wasn’t like one dribble to the elbow for a jumper, it was full sequences — moves that you might not even attempt once a game.

One move started in the high post. Kobe pump-faked at the free throw line and reverse-pivoted into the lane for a floater.

He made me do that one move maybe 100 times in a row while he watched.


At 8 a.m. Kobe said he had a breakfast meeting to get to. My arms were like noodles. I was drenched in sweat, we both were. It felt good. Two hours in the gym. A good day’s work.

Neat to hear about an encounter between one of the greats and the next generation.

I hope we hear more about this mellower, Mr. Miyagi version of Kobe in the future.