Maledon is a few inches taller than Parker, but he possesses a similarly skinny frame, at 195 pounds. He loves the runner, or teardrop, the shot Parker perfected and made synonymous with his name in the NBA. He also uses the spin move like Parker. “He reminds me of a young Tony — really,” says Charlotte wing Nicolas Batum, a 31-year-old Frenchman who has played with both. “Theo is really under control, which is not easy for an 18-year-old. He is never in a rush.”
When I heard the news, I thought immediately of Michael Jordan, who Bryant told me on several occasions was the player he aspired to be. Certainly, Bryant came closer than anyone else to matching the talent, the intensity — and the aura — of His Airness. I reached out to Jordan via text, knowing the news would be overwhelming and deeply personal. “I’m devastated!!!!” Jordan wrote me. “Too emotional to respond. I can’t find the words to make sentences!!!!
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak released the following statement on the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna: “I’m deeply saddened and shocked by today’s tragic news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. I had the privilege of witnessing up close, from start to finish, Kobe’s remarkable 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His accomplishments were truly extraordinary – a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist and NBA MVP – and he will be remembered as one of the game’s all-time greats.”