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Kobe Bryant’s annual Garden variety visit last Friday triggered me to re-examine the draft of 1996. Many people have gone straight from high school to Hollywood and become overnight sensations . . . after countless years of dejection and rejection. Kobe actually morphed into a Lakers’ legend almost on cue.

Jerry West was not the sole team executive who recognized his potential greatness, but he was the only one prepared to risk his reputation on a 17-year-old. All it took were two workouts, one, really.

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