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Video: Vintage Kobe Bryant clip resurfaces, showing off in the Philippines back in ’98

Kobe Bryant, Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was already a big star way before he started piling up titles. In 1998, Bryant, who was just in his second year in the NBA, visited the Philippines and showed off his skills in several packed venues in the capital of Manila.

Brooklyn Nets guard Jamal Crawford retweeted an old clip of that exact trip of the young Kobe. The then-teenage rising star can be seen displaying his handles, breaking ankles, and dunking on everyone. From the looks of it, it was a promo tour for Adidas, Kobe’s first shoe endorsement before he switched to Nike.

Former NBA forward Caron Butler, who played briefly with Kobe with the Lakers, replied to Crawford’s post and agreed with the sentiment.

 

The late Kobe Bryant was simply the complete package. His looks, charisma, and supreme talent made him an instant marketing powerhouse. The Black Mamba, who was around 19 or 20 years old during this time, was already the face of a multi-million sports brand.

As his popularity grew to global heights, Kobe relished visiting different parts of the world to interact with his millions of fans. He loved the Philippines so much, he visited the country a total of seven times, the last one just months after retiring from the NBA.

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