Joe Bryant Looks to Step Outside Kobe’s Shadow

Joe Bryant hugs son Kobe Bryant - Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

Sports are one of the great bonding moments between parents and their children. Some of sports’ greatest stars have come from families where fathers have been stars themselves, from the Manning family in the NFL to the Griffey family in baseball. This year’s NBA draft, for example, featured former Laker Mychel Thompson watching his son Clay Thompson get drafted with the Golden State Warriors

Looking to Kobe Bryant, it’s easy to forget about his upbringing when you gloss over the championship rings, All-Star games and scoring titles. Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, Kobe’s father, knows this all too well.

In an interview with the LA Times, Bryant spoke about living in the shadow of his All-NBA son, an odd experience for a man who played in the NBA for eight years himself during the 1970s and 80s:

If he’s recognized at a market, movie theater or restaurant, he could be bumped to the front of the line, or promptly seated at a corner table.

He doesn’t want special service. “I want people to know me for me,” he says.

Sometimes his conversations with strangers are brief. They’ll say they know him from somewhere and, in turn, he’ll wish them well and walk away.

Having been with three teams in his NBA career and even more in his time in Europe, Bryant has had an equally nomadic coaching career, and looks to coach in Japan or China this fall. For a man who has spent almost 40 years around basketball, many believe that Bryant is ready for an NBA job:

“The people in basketball know Kobe’s good for a reason,” he says. “It had to come from his dad.”

What makes the elder Bryant happy? Making his 120 shots. His son. And what else?

“Watching players improve after I spend time with them,” he says.

It’s hard to tell whether we’ll see “Jellybean” Bryant on an NBA sideline. His success in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks would suggest that he would fare well in a coaching gig or assistant role.

Do you see Bryant in a future NBA coaching role?



The Laker Nation News Team is a collaborative effort from writers of LakerNation.com to bring you the latest Lakers news and information.
  • Rockon Ent

    Give Jellybean a shot.  He was  decent player back in the day.  And he has done real good with the Sparks.  

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  • keeponkeepinon18

    “Do you see Bryant in a future NBA coaching role?”

    I’ve always reserved that question for Kobe Bean.

    • Timmyfoo

      Kobe isnt coaching after he retires, lol, i dont see it

  • laffsatu

    little hard up for stories????

    • k-os

      Been a fan of this site since it started and I see your name A LOT. It doesn’t bother me that you come on here because a lot of people do but your not even a laker fan. I just have to ask, how much of a loser are you to come on here for this long to just try and get a reaction from people?

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T25GSDTFRBNX6WZGKYBNGHDMRQ Margarite

    Jellybean was a awesome player from Philly  not decent! He taught Kobe the game Jellybean was taller and could leap out of the gym. I use to watch Bryant in the Baker League in Philadelphia. He also played many years in the NBA.