Irving Roland is the personal mentor of basketball stars Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James on working with Black Mamba and Euroleague
Assistant head coach of the Houston Rockets from 2016 to 2019 Irving Roland in the second part of an exclusive interview told NEWS.ru about working with Los Angeles Lakers attacking quarterback Kobe Bryant, about how to become the best in the National Basketball Association, and explained why the Euroleague is cooler than the NBA and named the favorite team of the European championship.
“It’s no secret that Kobe Bryant was a man with a very difficult character. How do you remember him?
“I was very lucky to work with Kobe. I was morally weaker before I met him. Mamba was someone big before he became an NBA star. In general, in the history of NBA players I know two of the strongest basketball players – Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson (“Philadelphia 76ers”). They are both very complex, but incredibly talented. Kobe was able to understand the instruction from the floor without asking questions. Watching him learn was something special for me. He was the best, the best. That’s why so many people want to be like him. He always achieved his goals. He was a great businessman, he had the right mindset.
How did he feel about his popularity?
He was a star. But what’s Kobe, that LeBron is great guys, fathers, basketball players who don’t have a star in their foreheads. “A lot of people hated Kobi. How do you feel about a man who aspired to be perfect on the floor? “They hated him because he wasn’t on their team. He was a great player like LeBron now.
Have you had any conflicts with him?
No, I don’t think so. Never. He’s a great friend. People don’t understand that basketball is not a battle, it’s a game. They do not think that outside the court basketball players cease to be rivals, they become buddies. yes, you’re going to do anything to win the game, but as soon as the final whistle sounds, you become a friend, a husband, a father. He’s the most non-conflict person outside the basketball arena I’ve ever known. Incredibly kind and wise.
“He was almost always with his family outside the playground. Can we say that he was not a sociable person?
I don’t think so. It should be understood that players spend most of their time without their family. You have to train all the time, play, prove it. And when there’s a minute to go, you don’t want to hang out with your friends. Plus he had his own business, which needed to be given time. And in L.A., there’s crazy traffic. If you go to the gym and then go home, you spend a lot of time on the road. He could take the kids to school, go to Lakers training, come back because he had to pick up the kids from school, then go to the game. And there’s not much time left to spend with his family. Yes, people make mistakes, but he always spent his free time traveling with his family. Family is always more important.
“There have been several major scandals around him, for example, he was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel maid. What do you know about this?