Ruben Patterson


1998-99 (#21) 24 2.7 1.3

Guard, #21


The self-proclaimed "Kobe Stopper" spent the 1998-99 season playing alongside the man he'd later become famous for defending. He was drafted by the Lakers as the 31st overall pick in the 1998 draft, and averaged 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds before being signed as a free agent with the Seattle Supersonics in August of 1999. After leaving the Lakers, he adopted his nickname, claiming he learned how to defend Bryant during Lakers' practices.

He went on to play for the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Milwuakee Bucks and the Clippers. Patterson's career, however, has been marred by his off-the-court troubles. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to an attempted rape charge and had to register as a sex offender. He's also been arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse and was convicted of assault after breaking the jaw of a man who scratched his car.

— Melissa Rohlin
Feb. 12, 2011