Kevin Franceshi is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Argenteuil, France that is playing his third professional season and first with Vivechrom A.O. Agriniou (Greece-A2) currently averaging 15,9ppg, 2,9rpg and 1,6apg. Last season he played in Germany with Pro B team BBC Coburg averaging 15,3ppg, 4,4rpg and 2,4apg. As a rookie he played with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. In the states he played with three schools with Weatherford JC (JUCO) playing 9 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%, UMKC (NCAA) playing 25 games averaging 2.6ppg and with Oklah.Baptist (NCAA2) playing 22 games averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his memories of Kobe Bryant.
Where were you and how did you find about the death of Kobe Bryant?
I was on the phone with a close friend of mine when my big brother texted me ‘Kobe just passed away’. It Still feels unreal… My Thoughts are going to all the victims and their family.
When I heard about it, I thought it was a hoax. What were your first thoughts when you heard about it?
I never had this feeling before, where you just sit there and can’t react. I didn’t want to believe it. I never met him but I feel like I knew him, watched him so much playing and doing interviews etc…
How much of your day the day after did you take informing yourself about his death and watching videos?
I Watched mostly a lot of tributes to him, and heard new stories about him from the best players around the NBA. I didn’t want to learn about the way he died and the details necessarily.
You were born in 1993. You were 3 when he began with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid?
The first NBA jersey that I bought was his jersey (#24 in white) He was my favorite player with MJ and Iverson. I binged watched his highlights and try to imitate him at the playground growing up
How did your love for Kobe Bryant develop over time as you got through childhood and high school? How do you remember following his career?. You were in high school when he won again in 2010
I loved everything about Kobe, his work ethic, determination, how he carried himself professionally a great role model. He inspired me to work harder, stay curious about the game, and that’s how I developed a true love for the game. I remember his finals run from 2008 to 2010, I watched all the games during the playoffs. I watched his last game against OKC in Oklahoma at the Chesapeake arena, during his farewell tour. Just watching him warm up was amazing for me. A True legend for us.
Kobe Bryant was for so many the greatest ever. What did you appreciate most about his game? Was he a guy that you pretended to be on the playgrounds?
I appreciated everything. He didn’t have any flaws, and he was a 2 way player, playing defense and offense. 12 times selected in the all defensive teams… as a pure scorer. Nowadays scorers don’t play defense anymore, the mentality is different. All of us tried to imitate his shots, his dunks, his game winners.
Kobe Bryant had so many amazing games like his 81 points and countless other games where it was lights out as well as winning 5 titles. What is your fondest memory of him of what he did on the court?
My favorite memories were when he had the afro and #8, my favorite version of him. The series in 2001, he established himself as a superstar and carried the team. I still take #8 over #24. More exciting to watch in my opinion.
The outpouring of sadness was incredible in the last 24 hours. Guys were crying and leaving heart felt messages on Social Media. How long do you think it will take until the basketball world comes to terms with this tragedy?
The greatest athlete of our generation, everybody knew Kobe Bryant, worldwide. He’s like a God in China, and many other countries outside of his native home. It’s crazy how many people payed tribute to him after his death, we’re talking billions.
When you look back in 20 years on the career of Kobe Bryant how will you remember his legacy best?
I’ll remember him as somebody that gave everything. He had for what he loved the most, basketball. The ‘mamba mentality’ is something everybody should adopt into their daily lives, no matter what kind of jobs they are doing and what they are passionate about.
One of my last questions in my standard interviews is what is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Often players remind me that I left out Kobe Bryant.I have been thinking about this a lot in the last. How worthy is a Kobe Bryant to be seen as the greatest of all-time?
I’ll always put MJ first, but Kobe second and then Lebron. We all have a different opinions on it and I don’t think there’s a ‘right answer’, it’s all about preferences and how you see them as players. Kobe is not only up there with the greatest players, but the greatest athletes of all time as well.
My last question isn’t what is the last movie you saw, but what video of Kobe Bryant will you take a look again when you have some time to look back at his great career?
My favorite Kobe Bryant videos are called ‘Kobe Bryant Greatness HD’ and ‘Kobe Bryant Clinic’ on youtube, I watch those all the time.
Thanks Kevin for sharing your memories of Kobe Bryant.