Central Valley recalls Kobe Bryant’s first time in a Lakers jersey

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Kobe Bryant started his 20-year NBA career at a preseason game in Fresno

FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Longtime Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant spent most of his career at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, however, he started his NBA career at Selland Arena in 1996.

Grant Martin sat front row to Kobe Bryant’s NBA debut as a Lakers player.

Bryant, who was 18 at the time, scored 10 points in the preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks. In an AP report on the game, then teammate Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed Bryant as “Showboat” and said he was the future.

We asked our viewers to share their memories of that day on social media. You can see some of the responses in the photo gallery below.

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