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Lakers' Kobe Bryant lends advice to Shannon Brown on NBA dunk contest

January 20, 2010 |  7:00 am

Flash back to 1997, when Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was in his rookie season and only months removed from being a standout at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa. 

He says he can't remember that long ago, but the anxiety still remains fresh in his mind when he was invited to compete in that season's NBA dunk contest.

"I didn't want to do it," Bryant said, laughing. "I was too nervous."

That didn't matter. He took home the crown his rookie season, thanks to a between-the-legs dunk. It's a move, one reporter joked to the 13-year vet, that is now considered old school.

Bryant then jokingly scoffed at the reporter's indirect suggestion that the 31-year-old is aging, but he didn't appear to be joking when asked of his advice to teammate Shannon Brown for the NBA dunk contest on Feb. 13. It was abundantly clear: Rely on athletic ability and not props. It's fair to say then that Bryant isn't a fan of Nate Robinson's Superman leap last season over Dwight Howard

-- Mark Medina

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