Sioux Falls man used to play pickup games with Kobe Bryant

Local News

One person who is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant is a Sioux Falls man. Tom Savage, who used to work for the Lakers, not only knew Kobe Bryant, but also played pickup games with him.

“I played horse against Kobe almost every day after practice. We played one on one and I still to this day contend he let me score once or twice,” Tom Savage said.

Tom Savage used to work in the public relations department for the Lakers and would write game note summaries when Kobe Bryant first got into the NBA.

“I was with him every day for two years, you know, I spent every, every waking moment with him you know I traveled with the team.”

Savage, who is now a freelance writer in Sioux Falls, says he learned of the tragic news while he was on his computer yesterday afternoon.

“It was the first thing that popped up, it’s one of those things just, you can’t believe this. I checked a couple different sources just to see and they were pretty reputable and actually text a friend of mine, and I used to work with at the Lakers and just, you know, like everyone else just devastated and shocked and disbelief,” Savage said.

Savage says Kobe Bryant was spectacular on the court.

“I’ve been around a lot of athletes in my career and he’s one that I’ve never seen turn on so much when he goes on the court, he was just an animal on the court just that will to win was unbelievable,” Savage said.

Even though Kobe had a fierce competitive drive, Savage says he was very likeable.

“I think he inspired people, I think he inspired basketball players, I know that he inspired people off the court too and and that’s kind of a cliché but it’s, it is the truth with him.”

Savage worked for the Lakers for two years before accepting another public relations job with the Indiana Pacers.

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