As Kobe Bryant plays out his 20th and final season with the Lakers, The Times has reached out to players, coaches and broadcasters for recollections about his career.
Caron Butler, a 13-year-pro, two-time All-Star and NBA champion, played one season with the Lakers and Bryant, in 2004-05.
This wasn’t an ordinary barbecue at Butler’s childhood home in Milwaukee.
Bryant, already a three-time NBA champion, was there.
(So were teammates Lamar Odom and Brian Grant, Butler said.)
“We had barbecue ribs, cabbage, everything,” Butler said, smiling. “The house was full of about 30 to 40 people in it and everybody saw Kobe and was like, ‘Aw, man! He...