As Kobe Bryant‘s retirement tour through the NBA continues, current MVP Steph Curry will greet the old basketball eminence for Kobe’s final trip to Oracle Arena. Curry has talked about how he first had contact with Kobe when he was still in college and attended Kobe’s highly regarded skills camp. Curry said he picked up a lot while there, and he’s never stopped learning from Bryant. Neither have players like NBA players Demar DeRozan, Lance Stephenson, and Tyreke Evans who also attended the Kobe Bryant Skills Academy. (And that’s just from 2007.)
One way to get to the exclusive Kobe Skills Camp has been to excel at the less exclusive Kobe Academy. But after nine years training the kids in the fundamentals — something Kobe’s derides the AAU for not teaching — the Kobe Academy is taking a year off in 2016, to “revamp our mission and curriculum.” Kobe’s mission of training American players to have more well-rounded games like that of his former teammate the Spaniard Pau Gasol will have to find another advocate for now. Kobe Academy promises to return in 2017.