USA TODAY Sports’ caught up with a few NBA All-Stars to talk about how Kobe Bryant made an impact on their lives.
Arn Tellem is vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons and an alternate governor on the NBA board of governors. Before that, he had a long and distinguished career as a player agent, representing some of the game’s biggest stars, including Kobe Bryant. Tellem wrote this column for the Free Press ahead of Monday’s memorial service in Los Angeles for Bryant, his daughter and the other victims in the helicopter crash that killed nine people on Jan. 26:
In 1996, some two decades before I became the Pistons’ vice chairman, I was Kobe Bryant’s first agent.
I grew up in Philadelphia, the hometown of Kobe and future Pistons greats Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton. Much of my childhood and all of my adolescence centered on local basketball and its mecca, the University of Pennsylvania arena known as the Palestra.