Reporter Rachel Nichols revealed Thursday night on NBA on TNT that Dwyane Wade received the news about Bryant's impending retirement while the Laker was soaking in a cold tub — at the Miami Heat's facility — a night before the Los Angeles Lakers-Heat game on November 10.
"Wade decided to stop by the arena and get in a soak in the cold tub. He goes through the Heat's locker-room area, back over to the training room, and who is already just sitting there in the tub...Kobe Bryant," Nichols said Wade told her, as reported by Bleacher Report. "Wade told me in the 13 years he’s played for the Heat, he’s never ever seen [Heat President] Pat Riley let an opposing player into the inner sanctum like that, using the team’s facilities and that, frankly, he was shocked. Of course, that's the respect that Kobe has earned, and the two old friends had a great, long talk."
She added: "At the end of it, Kobe asked Dwyane if his sons were coming to the game the next night. Dwyane said 'no,' as it was a school night, and Kobe said, 'You know what, bring them, I think it’s going to be my last time here.'"
Wade wound up bringing them on that November 10 night, weeks before Bryant announced Sunday that he'll retire at the end of this season.
Imagine the look on Wade's face when he saw Kobe sitting in the Heat's cold tub.
At this point, the Black Mamba can go where he pleases in the NBA...no questions asked. He's earned it.
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(Photo: David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/TNS/LANDOV)