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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kobe Bryant: "I am a super fan of AC Milan."

Kobe Bryant in February 2007.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Keith Allison
from Baltimore, Maryland

Kobe Bryant never forgot his Italian childhood nor the language. He spent his formative years in Italy when his father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, played professional basketball there.

The Los Angeles Lakers' star also has a love affair with the world football. Kobe been a frequent spectator at the World Cup, club games, friendlies and other international football events.

In an exclusive interview by the Milan Channel (with excerpts from La Gazzetta dello Sport TV) on 20 July 2013 from Milan, Italy, we will see an affinity for his favorite club team: AC Milan. The Lakers' star held "court" and was not reluctant to sing the praises of Milan in a very personal way.

Let's see what Mr. Bryant had to say from Milanello (Milan's training center):

Discussion Items
  1. On his feelings about coming to Milanello.
  2. On watching AC Milan in his youth.
  3. On his ongoing recovery.
  4. On the importance of the Scudetto (Italian championship).
Kobe Bryant

1. "It has always been a dream of mine to come here. When I was a child, you know that I was a great fan of AC Milan. To be here is a great honor for me."

Gazzetta dello Sport TV

"He has always been an AC Milan fan since childhood. He still speaks Italian perfectly from the time he was a child in our country where his father played professional basketball until 1991.

Kobe Bryant, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers, a special guest at the Milanello, here in an image by the Milan Channel. He visited the Milan Lab on Saturday as part of his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury."

Kobe Bryant

2. "When I was young, watching (Ruud) Gullit, (Frank) Rijkaard, (Marco) Van Basten and (Paolo) Maldini, it has always been a dream of mine. It's my favorite team. Surely, it's always in my heart. 

In my dressing room, in Los Angeles, there is a shirt of AC Milan and a Milan scarf that I place inside my locker. I see them every day."

3. "I don't know. It's hard for me because I can't do much, but I'm getting stronger each day. And I hope to return in November or December." 

4. "To win the Italian championship. Always. The Scudetto, always. It's not important when you play for individual things. It's always the Italian Serie A title. It's the only thing that counts."

Italian video source: Gazzetta dello Sport TV; "Kobe Bryant a Milanello: 'Sono un super tifoso;' 20 luglio 2013. ("Kobe Bryant at the Milanello training center: 'I'm a super fan.' ")

Please note:

A written script was not yet provided with this video and the Gazzetta TV journalist (she nor the Milan Channel journalist were named) did not voice-over the original questions.

Kobe Bryant with Ronaldinho in Brazil (Confederations Cup)

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Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015.

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