Inside Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy

LOS ANGELES – A handful of NBA stars stared at the whiteboard. Not only did they become engaged with the X’s and O’s. They became intrigued with who drew up the plays.

It was none other than former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who held a mini-camp last summer at his Mamba Sports Academy training facility in Thousand Oaks. There, Bryant hosted a workout and a tutorial for a handful of NBA players, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Jamal Murray, De’Aaron Fox, Tobias Harris, Isaiah Thomas and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

“Kobe is drawing things out. Kyrie is talking about how people need to go, ‘This way and that way,’ ” recalled Chad Faulkner, the chief executive officer of Mamba Sports Academy. “These guys are the masters themselves. Then to have the other room full of guys commenting on it and asking, ‘What about this’ and ‘what about that?’ There was an amazing amount of learning going on.”

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