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DeMar DeRozan Remembered Kobe Refusing To Leave His Legendary Drew League Game Early

It’s been 12 years since the late Kobe Bryant shut down the Drew League in a wild game where he scored 45, including the game-winner, to top James Harden’s 50-point performance.

DeMar DeRozan was also part of that game, and in a recent appearance on the Iman Amongst Men podcast with Iman Shumpert, he was asked for his favorite Kobe memory and went to that game. However, the game-winner from Kobe wasn’t even the part that stuck out most to him, but something that happened three minutes of game time before that, when Bryant refused to leave the game at the request of the police there who wanted to get him out before the masses of people in the gym swarmed him at the end of the game.

As DeRozan recalled, police approached Kobe and suggested he leave, which he declined, and then he fully embraced the crowd after knocking down the game-winner, getting swarmed by fans as they poured out of the bleachers and onto the court as he stood, arms raised, in triumph. It is an incredibly cool moment and one that might not have happened with a different superstar. It’s hard to emphasize how big Kobe was in Los Angeles in 2011, a year removed from leading the Lakers to another championship. Some might’ve taken the advice of the police in the gym that day and dipped out early to avoid the craziness at the end, but Kobe wanted to feel that energy and delivered a game-winner just to ensure it was as crazy as possible.