From the day I became a Laker, I had one thing on my mind.
I had to have a sit down with Kobe.
That whole summer I was banging down Rob Pelinka’s phone every damn day trying to get hold of Mamba.
I’m hitting Rob all the time like, “Come on, help me out. I’m trying to talk to him.” And this goes on for like a minute.
Then finally one night, we’re in Minnesota for a game the next day. It’s almost 11, I’m stretching in my hotel room, and I get a random text, just out the blue.
“Yo, this is Bean. Let’s do dinner. Sunday when you guys get back.”
I’m like, This is Kobe….. texting my phone. What the fuck is going on right now?
So I show up at the restaurant that Sunday.
I’m always on time for dinner, but tonight I’m 15 minutes early. I’m just sitting there for a while, until his security shows up. They walk in, and they’re like, “Hey, we’re gonna take you back to the table. Kobe’s almost here. Driving in right now.”
So now I’m sitting at the dinner table, and I’m just waiting.
We have two tables because one table’s for me and Kobe, and the other table’s for his three or four security guards. And I’m just sitting at the table by myself waiting for him. I’m on my phone, I’m thinking about this dinner, I’m sipping water, I’m thinking about how it’s gonna go. And then one of the security guys gets up from his table. He walks over to me and says, “Hey. Kobe just parked. He’s two minutes out.”
I’m like, “Alright, cool.” But on the inside I’m just fucking sweating, and I don’t even know why I’m sweating right now. I have a white t-shirt on, and I’m looking at my shirt like, Dang.