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Kobe Bryant promised his dad he’d be better, at age 10

No one could ever accuse him of not having confidence.

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Picture yourself surrounded by professional basketball players at 10 years old. The world already seems pretty big, but when everyone around you is larger than life, confidence might be tough to come by. Unless you’re Kobe Bryant.

Roland Lazenby joined Locked on Lakers to share stories from his new book “Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant” (in stores now), and one in particular sounds especially Mambastic.

(Yes, that is a word I just made up. When you graduate with an English degree, you get to do that kind of thing. Them’s the rules.)

So picture 10-year-old Kobe sitting on a team bus with his dad (Joe “Jellybean” Bryant), World Be Free and other Italian professional players. Then, let Lazenby tell the story.

“Kobe was this little kid who went everywhere,’ Lazenby said. “He’d travel with the team buses and by the time he was 10 — I went to Italy to do the interviews — and one of Joe’s former teammates said that one day, a 10-year old Kobe was riding on the bus with them and that he looked at this guy, and he looked his father, Jellybean, and he said ‘I’m gonna be better than both of you guys.’”

Kids in general that the propensity for moments like these, but very few of them actually live up to their promise.

For more stories like this, buy Lazenby’s book. He was also pretty great on the show, which you can listen to below:

You can follow the author of this article on Twitter, @AnthonyIrwinLA. If you’re interested in the show he hosts, you can subscribe on iTunes, here.

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