S1E6: The Summer of '95
I Am Kobe · 42 minutes ·

S1E6: The Summer of '95

In 1995 it was common for pro and college players to work out, scrimmage, and play pickup games together during the NBA offseason. Philadelphia 76ers General Manager John Lucas was so impressed with local high school basketball phenom Kobe Bryant that he asked if Kobe wanted to work out with the Sixers. Several of the Sixers’ players would be there, including power forward Sharone Wright and the team’s 7-foot-6-inch center, Shawn Bradley. Kobe, of course, said yes.

But when you hear about Kobe’s workouts in the summer of 1995, you hear about Jerry Stackhouse. He had been a high school phenom himself just a few years earlier. The Sixers had taken Stackhouse with the third overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. At North Carolina, he’d been a state player of the year, the Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year, and taken the Tar Heels to the Final Four. He was supposed to be the Sixers’ savior. Stackhouse was playing in those summer scrimmages and pickup games and you would have thought he would dominate them--and Kobe. Except their battles on the court back then have taken on the aura of myth and legend ever since, in a way that has always put Stackhouse in Kobe’s shadow.

Pre-order Mike Sielski's related book: “The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality" (1/11/22): TheRiseOfKobeBook.com

Join the conversation about “I Am Kobe” on social media: on Twitter and Instagram: @diversionpods

Our theme music is “Create Yourself” by Grover Braam feat. Justin Starling: Listen to Create Yourself on Spotify

Cover photo © Eileen Blass – USA TODAY NETWORK

“I Am Kobe” is a production of Diversion Podcasts in association with iHeartRadio. This season is written and hosted by Mike Sielski. Produced by Jacob Bronstein and directed by Mark Francis. Story editing by Jacob Bronstein with editorial direction from Scott Waxman. Editing, mixing, and sound design by Mark Francis. Production Assistant: Stephen Tompkins. Music Supervisor: Scott Velasquez for Frisson Sync. Executive Producers: Mark Francis and Scott Waxman. 

Thanks to Oren Rosenbaum, Susan Canavan, and Jeremy Treatman.

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