One of the final interviews Kobe Bryant ever gave features the NBA legend wearing USC basketball gear.
Bryant appears in "The Final Shot" on Netflix and discusses his on-court relationship with Spurs great Tony Parker. All the while, he's wearing a USC jacket.
USC football wide receivers coach Keary Colbert was actually the one to point it out on Twitter invoking the "Iron sharpens iron" manta.
Kobe Bryant supported USC basketball after his playing career.
USC basketball was privileged to count Kobe among their fans. He and his daughter Gianna even attended a women's game at the Galen Center together. It wasn't a stretch to wonder if cardinal and gold might be in Gianna's future as a player.
When Kobe and Gianna were tragically lost in a helicopter crash last January, USC made it clear they were already part of the Trojan Family. The Trojans saved courtside seats for the pair with USC jerseys draped in their honor. Players also wore shirts commemorating the basketball legend while holding a 24.8-second moment of silence before they took on Utah.
Kobe didn't play for USC. He went straight from high school in Philadelphia to the pros. During his time with the Lakers, he ingrained himself in the basketball culture of Los Angeles. Maybe it was the influence of alums Jerry Buss and his daughter Jeannie who led him to embrace USC. Maybe it was Nike. Whatever it was, he was a Trojan in the end.
It's been an emotional week for USC basketball fans. Seeing a beloved star gone too soon in Trojan gear tugs on heartstrings that have already been plucked in 2021.
On Jan. 2, Hall of Famer Paul Westphal died of brain cancer. The All-American guard was one of USC's brightest stars ever. He led the Trojans to their best season win percentage in program history in 1971 then went on an All-Star career in the NBA. He was also a successful coach and broadcaster.