Touching Message From Kobe Bryant Convinced Shohei Ohtani To Sign With The Dodgers

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The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled out all the stops to sign superstar two-way pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani, including using a posthumous message from former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. 

The Dodgers showed Ohtani a six-year-old video message from Kobe, which he apparently recorded for them in 2017 when Ohtani was first posted to the MLB from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.  

Bryant apparently mentioned Ohtani by name in the video, telling him Los Angeles was the greatest place on Earth to play, and the Dodgers were the best baseball team to secure victories with, according to Passan

Ohtani was apparently taken aback at the mentioning of his name, Passan reported.

The video obviously worked because Ohtani signed an insane record-breaking $700 million deal with the Dodgers. (RELATED: Shohei Ohtani’s Contract Is Patently Absurd)

The video was “one of the highlights of the meeting” Ohtani said, according to Passan. “I was really surprised to see it. It was a strong and touching message,” the Japanese star claimed. 

Ohtani had long been an admirer of Bryant’s commitment to his craft and to his sport, Passan reported. 

Bryant, who spent his entire 20 year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker, tragically died in a 2020 helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven others.