I Was There When

AMA: Longtime NBCLA Sportscaster Fred Roggin Talks Kobe Bryant's Career

When Bryant died, Los Angeles lost an icon. Roggin reflects on covering the basketball legend from the day he was drafted to his untimely death.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Longtime NBCLA sportscaster Fred Roggin has covered Los Angeles sports and the Lakers for decades, including reporting on Kobe Bryant the day he was drafted until the day he died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Our new series “I Was There When…” shares the story behind the story – what it was like to see Kobe grow throughout his entire career, and feel the immense loss to the city of Angels when he died. 

You can catch the episode streaming exclusively on NBCLA's app on Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV. 

Below, find a condensed version of a Reddit AMA with Roggin.

What was the moment that you knew Kobe was going to be a superstar?

When Jerry West traded for Kobe on draft day. The word was, he had had the best workout the Lakers had ever seen, and he became Jerry West's priority.

What's the biggest misconception from NBA fans of Kobe Bryant?

That he was selfish or all about Kobe. In reality, Kobe was all about winning. If he believed he was the best option at any moment, he would take the shot. In hindsight, he was right.

Remembering Kobe: A Look Back at Bryant's Legendary Career

What is your opinion of the Lakers fanbase?

Passionate. Going to a Laker game is unlike going to any sporting event in the country. It's an event. Some people go to be seen, and not see the game. The fanbase is loyal, and understands the game of basketball.

Was there anything in particular that Kobe did that moved you?

I always respected his work ethic, and attention to detail. His relentlessness . And I tried to apply some of those traits to what I do for a living.

Click here to read Roggin's Reddit AMA in full.

Contact Us