"I played basketball until I was in eighth grade. But I had to quit because I couldn't shoot. I could dribble. But everyone expects you to be good because of the name.
"But I like it. I like the pressure it brings you. I like the challenge.
"I went to St. Vincent-St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio, where LeBron James went to high school. Everyone was like, 'Why aren't you on the team?' I would say, 'Trust me, you don't want me on the team.'
"But you definitely have to be more than an average person if your name is Kobe (Kobi) Bryant.
"When I was 9 or 10 years old, I had a moment where I was like, 'Wow, I'm really named after Kobe Bryant.' But I liked it. I liked the notoriety of it.
"The day he died, I was in the shower. And I looked at my phone and I had three missed calls from my mom. I called her back. My mom was crying. It was really upsetting. I had to check other news sources.
"It was just weird because people would say my name afterward and I'd realize that they were talking about him, not me. I definitely think it was different for me. I think having the same name made his death more unique, in a way.
"I definitely drank some champagne [as a toast to Kobe Bryant's life] and watched the news that night.
"I feel more responsibility to hold up the name now."
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