Ex-Cowboys WR Keyshawn Johnson discloses how Kobe Bryant taught him to sign autograph

While on their way to Portland for a an event Kobe Bryant taught Keyshawn Johnson how to sign autographs.


Ex-Cowboys WR Keyshawn Johnson discloses how Kobe Bryant taught him to sign autograph

Keyshawn Johnson and Kobe Bryant (Image via IMAGO)

Although Keyshawn Johnson was a few years older than Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers icon was much more mature for his age. Even before entering the NBA, he knew how to handle fame and the media.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both Johnson and Bryant were drafted in 1996. The wide receiver was the first overall pick for the New York Jets. On the other hand, the Charlotte Hornet made Bryant the 13th overall pick, which they traded to the Lakers, making the Philadelphia native the first guard to be taken in the draft.

If you go back and think about it, Kobe and I both came into our respective leagues at the same time. The same year we both signed with the Adidas shoe company, same time, same year.  
Keyshawn Johnson told his son during the All Facts No Breaks podcast

The two players collaborated for the first time on an ESPN SportsCenter commercial. Later, they signed a deal with Adidas and headed for Portland for an event where both had to sign a few autographs on merchandise.

Kobe was the person who taught me how to sign my autograph. We were flying together on a private jet to Portland. We had memorabilia we had to sign before we landed, but he finished way before me. 
Keyshawn Johnson added

Kobe Bryant’s advice to Keyshawn Johnson on how to sign autographs

Keyshawn Johnson saw Kobe Bryant had already finished his portion. Hence, he asked the secret of his speed.

ADVERTISEMENT
I asked him, ‘Kobe man, how the hell did you finish so fast? He’s like, ‘What are you doing?’ And he leaned over, [saying], ‘Well, that’s the problem right there. 
Keyshawn Johnson revealed
Ex-Cowboys WR Keyshawn Johnson discloses how Kobe Bryant taught him to sign autograph
Kobe Bryant (via IMAGO)

Bryant’s advice to Johnson was to shorten his signature. Unlike him, the USC graduate had lots of syllables in his name.

He was like, ‘Man, you [gotta] just shorten it to Keyshawn.’ I shortened it to Keyshawn and my number. 
Keyshawn Johnson added

Both players reached greatness in their respective sports. Johnson went on to play for four NFL teams during his decade-long career. His best season came in 2002. While playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 51-year-old won his only Super Bowl ring.

As for Kobe Bryant, he will go down as one of the best players to set foot on an NBA court. He was an 11-time All-NBA First Team member and an 18-time All-Star. During his tenure with the Lakers, he won NBA Final MVP Awards, nine All-NBA Defensive First Team Selections, and an All-Star Game MVP four times.

In case you missed it:

ADVERTISEMENT