Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant, father of Kobe Bryant, recounts what it was like watching Black Mamba’s Lakers Career

Retired NBA player and father of Kobe Bryant, Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant and sports and entertainment journalist Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson at RISE Indoor Sports Expo in Rockwall, Texas. Photo Credit: The Scoop B Brand


NBA legend, Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant chats with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about his son, Kobe Bryant on Scoop B Radio


Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant may be known as Kobe Bryant’s father, but he also had a career of his own.

From playing with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets from 1975-1983 to coaching the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA to playing overseas in France and Italy, Jellybean is basketball.

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, right, has a laugh with his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, prior to participating in a pickup basketball game at the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, Calif., on Thursday, July 5, 2007. (AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc)

Being basketball means he knows talent when he sees it. So I’m curious: What is it really like to raise a child prodigy?

“It’s really the joy of the game,”  Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant told me on Scoop B Radio.

“I think as a parent, you figure he could play as long as he wants, as long as he enjoys the game. I think he made some comments about mentally…he’s fine. He likes the challenge. It’s your body. Your body takes you long to recuperate. That’s the challenge.”

The 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA, what made Kobe Bryant’s game unique is that it has many skill sets. Kobe grew up watching the greats like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan, but his footwork is so strong. Kobe’s father’s was too. Jellybean chatted about what it was like to see Kobe play for as long as he did and retire on his own terms.



🏀 Happy 39th Birthday @kobebryant. This was one of my favorite #Kobe moments. #respect 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 #Lakers

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“As a fan, just watching him play and putting up all those points and playing at such a high level at such a great organization like the Lakers. I think that’s probably one of the important things,” he told me.

The fundamentals and doing things the right way is what Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant respects about his son.

“These kids come out of school and they worry about being a number one pick, number two pick, I think it’s more important that you get with the right organization and Kobe was able to do that and as you see, playing with one organization is really something special.”

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About Brandon Robinson

Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson is a managing editor and columnist at RESPECT Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @ScoopB and Instagram: @Scoop_B. As a 12 year old, he was a Nets reporter from 1997-1999, co-hosting a show called Nets Slammin' Planet with former New Jersey Net Albert King and Nets play-by-play man Chris Carrino. He's also been a writer and radio host at CBS and a staff writer at The Source Magazine. He's a graduate of both Eastern University and Hofstra University. You can catch him daily on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Visit to listen. For inquiries and to contact Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson visit