Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Andrew Bernstein, Legends of Sport founder and Hall of Fame NBA photographer, had unique behind-the-scenes access to Kobe Bryant throughout his record-setting career.

From the rookie teen few noticed to the championships and a memorable final game, Bernstein was on hand to capture it all.

He shared his top 24 Bryant images with the Los Angeles Times to mark the star’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Which one is his favorite? He talks about his iconic photos in the video above.

“If I had to point to one picture, it would probably be the one of him in the ice in the black and white that was shot in the 2009-10 season. Actually, Phil Jackson and I were working on a book together and I was embedded with the team that season. And that picture just speaks to me — [it’s] not an action picture — but it really speaks to me as to the essence of the monumentality,” Bernstein said. “Kobe was beat up at the time we were on a long road trip, [before the second game of a] back-to-back. … All of a sudden, we’re in Madison Square Garden playing less than 24 hours after we played in Cleveland. And, you know, any other guy might have hung it up at that point and said, ‘You know what, Coach, I need the night off.’ Or, you know, ‘I’m hurtin’’ or whatever, but not him.

“… You know, Madison Square Garden was the mecca of basketball for him. He always had some of his greatest games in Madison Square Garden. And Kobe never let an injury define how he was going to perform.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.