Upsetting
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
 
This is the story of Kobe:

It was Saturday night in suburban Philadelphia, spring of 1995, and 17-year-old Kobe Bryant had invited his high-school sweetheart, Jocelyn Ebron, on a date.

Most other teenagers in the upper-middle-class enclave of Lower Merion had gone to the multiplex to sneak into the R-rated “Bad Boys” and get busy in the dark. But Kobe didn’t have a lot of experience with the rituals of American puppy love.

Raised under the watchful eye of a doting mother who fixed him the same breakfast every morning (“eggs, bacon and Cream of Wheat on the side,” remembers Ebron), and a basketball-coach father who achieved moderate NBA success, Kobe had one goal in life: scoring on the basketball court.

Which is probably why 16-year-old Jocelyn found herself spending the evening in the Bryant family den, watching videotapes of Kobe’s hoop exploits as a kid in Italy.

“He wanted to watch them all the time,” says Ebron. “I didn’t mind, because I wanted to do what he wanted to do.”

In four years of dating Kobe Bryant, Jocelyn Ebron spent many a chaste night as he sat glued to the TV, watching the same videos and highlight reels of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson over and over.

“Looking back,” says Ebron, now a 24-year-old social worker, “it was sort of selfish of him.”
 
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