The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been broadcast from two Los Angeles-area television studios since its debut in 2003, but it has only been the past half-dozen years that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has become a repeat guest on the popular daytime show. Here we chronicle his five appearances to date…
KOBE BRYANT DEBUTS ON ELLEN
In September of 2012, coming off a second straight season in which the Lakers were eliminated in the NBA Playoffs Western Conference semifinals, Bryant debuted on The Ellen Show with an on-stage shooting contest versus a young super fan.
BRYANT OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT
A year later, Bryant recorded a special message and sent a signed basketball to guest on The Ellen Show who had lost their belongings in a house fire.
In 2016, Bryant sat down with DeGeneres for his first post-retirement interview following his historic 60-point final game.
Before talking to DeGeneres, Bryant partnered with the talkshow host to prank an unsuspecting esthetician backstage. Bryant, equipped with an unseen earpiece, was guided by DeGeneres to share a highly implausible tale of uncontrollable sweating.
SURPRISING ARIKE OGUNBOWALE
Notre Dame junior guard Arike Ogunbowale got a Twitter pep talk from Bryant during the NCAA Championships, and DeGeneres surprised the college basketball star with a visit from her basketball idol.
Bryant gifted Ogunbowale with two Lakers jerseys — a signed one for herself, and another for her dog, Kobe, which he signed, “To Kobe, bark with force.”
Their meeting concluded with a Battle of the Sexes as DeGeneres paired with Ogunbowale to challenge Bryant and Ice Cube in a 2-on-2 basketball game.
BASKETBALL CONNECT 4
Most recently, Bryant came on Ellen to promote his new book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play and the host tested his post-retirement shooting skills in an entertaining game of Ellen & Kobe’s Connect 4 Hoops. True to form, the former Lakers closer snatched the victory with a clutch shot.