WASHINGTON -- Back in the spring of 2017, as the Wizards and Celtics were squaring off in the second round of the NBA playoffs, then Boston-guard Isaiah Thomas revealed a piece of information that immediately became national news. His good friend and mentor, Kobe Bryant, was breaking down film of the series and giving Thomas tips on how to beat the Wizards.

Bryant began advising Thomas before and after games following the Celtics' Game 2 loss in the first round against the Chicago Bulls. The Celtics then won six straight games and later topped the Wizards to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

Now Thomas is on the Wizards' side after signing a free agent deal over the summer. He and Bryant remain in touch and there may come a time this season where he calls up the Black Mamba to review film of his new team.

"He's somebody that I always reach out to when I have a question when it comes to anything on the basketball court," Thomas told NBC Sports Washington. "He's always willing to help me out. Definitely this year, when things get going, I'm definitely going to reach out and he's going to help me out any way possible. But now we're on the good side, we're in the red, white and blue."

Bryant, some may recall, nearly played for the Wizards. In the early 2000s, he wanted to leave the Lakers and join forces with his idol, Michael Jordan. That never happened, but now nearly two decades later, he is a valuable resource for one of their key players.


Bryant will already have a small effect on Thomas' 2019-20 season. Thomas attended a private camp with Bryant this summer and, though he said he couldn't divulge many details, explained how the Lakers legend was able to help his game.

"Kobe's my favorite player of all-time, so it's just a surreal moment to be on the court with him, for one. Not only that, to ask him questions and him answer them back. He knows guys games and knows where their sweet spots are on the court. It was just an open book. Anything you want to ask and he's answering it," Thomas said.