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Thibodeau saw Kobe Bryant's potential

Updated: November 22, 2010, 3:02 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

LOS ANGELES -- It was about 16 years ago in Saint Joseph's gym in Philadelphia, where a talented high school player first met an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Tuesday, for the first time since that meeting, the two meet while at the top of their professions as Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers host first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls.

"He was crucial. He was with me when I was 16 or 17 years old," Bryant said Sunday night at Staples ...

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