As controversial as he may have been to some, few NBA players were more universally beloved, feared, and respected than Kobe Bryant.
Granted that the Los Angeles Lakers have fans all over the nation — and the world — and their road games are always full of Lakers fans, but still.
Notably, Myles Turner had to experience that firsthand when he was just a rookie for the Indiana Pacers.
In his recent appearance on the Run Your Race podcast (via ClutchPoints), the big man told a hilarious story of how even Pacers fans were actually booing their own team for beating Kobe during his farewell season.
"I remember we were playing against Kobe Bryant my rookie year… It's like crunch time now and we're starting to get down and Kobe leads an entire comeback by himself. It's a single digit game— we're up double-digits the entire game. He scores like 4 or 5 possessions in a row,… pic.twitter.com/I4qzJQF8Hl
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 14, 2023
He recalls that Bryant single-handedly led a big comeback by himself to make it a single-digit game, scoring like five possessions in a row.
Then, when Paul George seemed to hit the dagger, Pacers fans actually got mad because of it.
Nowadays, it’s a hilarious and iconic story, but it may have been shocking and frustrating as a Pacers player back in the day, especially if you’re just a rookie.
That’s an insane level of respect for a guy who never played for that organization.
That’s the kind of emotion that Kobe instilled and inspired in everybody around him, and one of the many reasons why we will never see another player like him.
Imagine how good you have to be to have road fans actually rooting for you.NEXT: Pacers Share Video Of New Acquisition In The Gym