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Fri, Jun 18, 2021 2:36 PM

KOBE BRYANT INSPIRED PLAYERS AROUND THE WORLD, ONE SLEEPLESS NIGHT AT A TIME

He wanted to watch basketball, the game he'd only recently discovered. Highlights on YouTube weren't a reliable option; his parents limited the time he spent on electronics, pushing him to study and help around the home. The time difference also meant that even the NBA's earliest tipoffs in the U.S. began after midnight in Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital. That didn't work with his strict 9 p.m. bedtime.

It was why Embiid occasionally, quietly, shuffled out of his sheets late at night.

"I would still sneak out and go to the living room and turn on the TV, and the volume all the way down, just to get to watch it," the Philadelphia 76ers center said last week.

For their son's night-owl basketball fix, Embiid's parents had one person to blame: Kobe Bryant...

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