There are few players more qualified than Kobe Bryant to tutor teenagers on what it takes to have success in the NBA. After being drafted as a 17-year old with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant went on to have one of the most succesful careers in NBA history.
Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram was drafted significantly higher (second overall in 2016), but the skinny 19-year old is hoping to follow anything close to a similar career trajectory to the player whose locker he now occupies.
New Lakers advisor Magic Johnson has repeatedly said he wants to bring Bryant back to the organization to help in an official capacity, but it sounds like Bryant has already begun working with Ingram unnoficially (via Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report):
Ingram has been longing all season for the chance to connect with Bryant, yearning to find out specifically "whatever he did his rookie year to get prepared" and generally about that killer mentality that Ingram called "unreal."
Ingram's wish came true Wednesday when he got a text message from Bryant—"What up, youngin? It's Kobe. Hit me up"—to open the door to what could be a wealth of information. Ingram initially didn't believe it was really Kobe.
This is almost undoubtedly a good thing for the Lakers. Obviously little is known about how often the two will communicate and what they'll work on, but Bryant surely has plenty of wisdom to offer the knowledge-thirsty rookie about life in the NBA both on and off the court.
Ingram is highly unlikely to ever reach Kobe's heights, and that's fine, but no one will ever accuse him of not doing everything he can to get there.