With his sore right shoulder bothering him, Kobe Bryant sat out the entire second half to the Lakers' matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Bryant played just 11 minutes in the first half and scored five points before sitting out for the rest of the game.
While on the bench, Bryant could only watch as D.J. Augustin torched the Lakers in the fourth, scoring 22 of his 26 points in the quarter to lead the Nuggets to a 117-107 victory. Despite seeing the Lakers have no solution for Augustin, Bryant actually had a good time on the bench as he held a contest with a group of young fans sitting near the Lakers bench.
The rules of Bryant's contest were simple. Guess the name of his dog and he would give the winner, the shoes off his feet. Bryant had to provide a hint, which was Harry Potter, but two boys correctly guessed his dog's name and went home with Kobe's shoes, which he also signed for them.
Bryant’s fun didn’t end when he exited the game. He had his own contest with four fans sitting behind the Lakers’ bench, a pair of boys and a pair of young ladies. It ended with the two boys receiving his autographed sneakers once the game ended. It wasn’t just a gift, either.
“No, they earned them,” Bryant said. “They wanted to know what the name of my pet dog was so I gave them a clue. I said ‘it’s in a (Harry) Potter film.’ So every time, they threw out like 15 names. The deal was if they got it, I’d give them my shoes. And they got it.”
Bryant revealed the name of his dog is Crucio, the name of one of three unforgivable curses that inflicts excruciating pain upon the receiver.
Here's Bryant giving the shoes to the boys:
It is quite fitting of Bryant, whose nickname is the Black Mamba (a venomous snake), to have a dog named after one of the unforgivable curses from Harry Potter. However, his dog is a big black lab and looks to be quite gently and friendly.
By allowing the fans to have at least 15 guesses, shows that Bryant clearly wanted to give his shoes away. He has been embracing his fans wherever he has gone on his farewell tour and moments like this, are putting a nice little bow on Bryant's career.