Rasheed Wallace’s one-of-a-kind reasoning on why Kobe Bryant was ‘lucky as s–t’ to play in L.A.

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

There’s no doubt that many Los Angeles Lakers fans feel incredibly lucky that late legend Kobe Bryant spent his entire NBA career in L.A.

According to former star big man Rasheed Wallace, Bryant himself was lucky to play in Los Angeles due to a fairly unexpected reason: weather.

“People don’t realize and understand how f—— key weather is to your career,” he said. “… If you got guys like, man, Kobe was lucky as s— to play in L.A. his whole career. Tim Duncan was lucky as s— to play in San Antonio his whole career. You talking about a majority of hot-weather cities…where, s—, you feeling good. It’s a different mindset going into the game ’cause now your body, you’re not aching. That tendinitis ain’t hurting. … It’s a big difference when you in that cold city and that hot city, man.”

It’s an interesting argument to be sure, and Wallace certainly knows what it’s like to play in colder cities. He spent the majority of his career playing in Portland and Detroit. Both cities are known to get quite cold during the winter months.

Despite that, his career took place over 16 seasons after he entered the NBA as the No. 4 overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. During that time, he put up 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He was named to four All-Star Game appearances as well.

Wallace was an interesting player in the NBA. He was known as something of a loose cannon and is third on the list of all-time technical foul recipients. When he wasn’t arguing with officials, he was an incredibly dangerous player.

He’s one of the big men of his era who is responsible for changing the position. He shot 33.6 percent from the 3-point line in his career and helped stretch the floor like few big men did before his time.

As for Bryant, perhaps he did benefit from the incredible weather in Southern California. However, it seems more likely that he benefited greatly from a city and organization that supported and loved him for nearly all of his storied NBA career.

Interestingly enough, one of the times Bryant lost in the NBA Finals, it was at the hands of Wallace and the Detroit Pistons. Wallace was instrumental for his team in that series, putting up 13.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

As for Bryant, he put up 22.6 points per game in that series.

Share This Article
Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.