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Kobe Bryant: Inspirational texter

December 3, 2009 |  5:31 pm
Forum Blue and Gold/NBC Los Angeles's Kurt Helin (who got wind of the news through the New York Times) recently wrote a piece about Kobe Bryant buoying the spirits of Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young through a series of texts.  The timing of these messages happened to coincide with Young getting back on field and steadily regaining his footing, and the QB has expressed gratitude for 24's concern. 

I asked Kobe after Tuesday's game against the Hornets about what prompted the interaction with Young.  Here's what he had to say:

I found particularly interesting Bryant expressing an ability to relate to Young. Obviously, on a purely professional level, he's never experienced the Longhorn legend's recent lows. I don't think Kobe's even endured a "bad" season, much less one where he lost his starting job and people wondered whether or not he had a future in the league. But Bryant does know what it's like to be harshly "written off," whether you're talking about the on/off-court image rehab he's successfully undergone or simply shutting up those claiming he'd never win a title without Shaq.  For his part, Young has dealt with questions about his mental stability, intelligence (Wunderlich nonsense) and drive. He also felt a particularly strong loss with the passing of Steve McNair, who'd served as a mentor for the fellow Titans slinger, meaning additional sources of advice and perspective were likely needed.  In any event, I thought it was pretty cool of Kobe to reach out like that,  And I'm glad to see Young enjoying success after a rough 1-2 years. 

Helin noted how Bryant, while rising to back to the top, had to drown out the critics, a message likely passed along to Young.  But Kobe also emphasized a need to keep the foot on the gas while things are running on all cylinders, because goodwill can be temperamental and subject to gravity's pull.

"If he has two bad games, everybody goes back to talking a bunch of (smack)," noted Kobe with a sly grin.