The Daily Nole

On My Mind Monday: Former Noles to Play with Kobe Bryant

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The sports world unexpectedly said goodbye to a legend on Sunday as former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Giana were among nine tragically killed in a Los Angeles-area helicopter crash.

One of the greatest players in the history of basketball and an iconic sports figure of a generation, Bryant’s unexpected death shook the sports world. During his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, a 5-time world champion, a 4-time All-Star Game MVP, a 2-time NBA Finals MVP, a 2-time scoring champion and a league MVP.

Just 41 years old, Bryant was also a 2-time Olympic gold medalist. In an 11-year span from 2000 to 2010, he played in the NBA Finals seven times.

Over 20 seasons, Bryant played with many different players. That includes a pair of former Seminoles. Here’s a look at the former FSU players to play with the late legend:

George McCloud, G/F

Seasons with Bryant: 1996-97
Stats: 4.1 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 43% 3PT
Overview: Sharpshooter George McCloud was a midseason acquisition from the Dallas Mavericks during Kobe Bryant’s rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers. After averaging nearly 14 points per game with Dallas, McCloud averaged just 4.1 points in 23 games with the Lakers, including two starts. His best scoring effort was a 16-point night in a win over the Denver Nuggets. McCloud did not play for the Lakers that postseason. After a short stint with the Lakers, McCloud would spend five more seasons in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.

Von Wafer, G

Seasons with Bryant: 2005-06
Stats: 1.3 PPG, 75% FT
Overview: A second-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2005 NBA Draft, Von Wafer lasted just one season and played just 16 games with Bryant and the Lakers. Wafer’s best game that season was a 9-point effort in a loss to the Utah Jazz. Wafer would spend six seasons in the NBA with seven different teams. His best season came during the 2008-09 campaign when he shot 45 percent and averaged nearly 10 points per game for the Houston Rockets.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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