How Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan impacted Warriors' Kevon Looney career

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How Hall of Famers Kobe, Duncan inspired Looney growing up originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kevon Looney, like many young basketball players growing up in the 2000s, has some fond memories of watching Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant play.

With both set to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, the Warriors center reflected on what he learned from the two NBA icons throughout his career around the game.

"I was a big Tim Duncan fan, I actually had a pair of his shoes when he was Adidas when I was a little kid," Looney told reporters after Warriors shootaround Saturday. "As a big man, he's been like the template, he's known as 'The Big Fundamental,' when you first learn how to play basketball, they teach you about Tim Duncan, his footwork, his right hook, his bank shot and just learning the basics of basketball is something that took him to the highest level.

"Kobe was my favorite player growing up, I mean as a kid in Milwaukee, he's part of the reason I ended up going to UCLA, just seeing LA as a kid, and shooting in the backyard and saying 'Kobe!' and doing the three, two, one. He was my idol, to be able to see Kobe up close in the NBA, to be able to be part of his retirement ceremony in that game and be able to play against him his last year in the NBA is an amazing thing that I'll be able to tell my family and friends."

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Looney's rookie season in the NBA was Bryant's final as a player, and of course the infamous night Kobe went for 60 points in his final game at Staples Center, the Warriors completed their 73-win season and watched the ending of the Los Angeles Lakers-Utah Jazz game from their locker room.

Bryant and Duncan are joined by Kevin Garnett as the three former NBA players being enshrined this weekend. They all were part of the 2020 class, but due to COVID-19 the ceremony was pushed back.

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