Kobe Bryant’s fearlessness and competitiveness made him an inspiration for upcoming NBA stars in addition to a respected foe amongst most of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rivals.
Bryant’s obsession with winning led to 5 NBA championships for the Lakers. It also rubbed a few of his co-stars up the flawed way, leading to conflicts with Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard, amongst others.
Nevertheless, Bryant did acknowledge greatness in others when he saw it. Stephen Curry told The Athletic’s Sam Amick he remembers to at the present time when the Lakers legend gave him a hat tip throughout the Golden State Warriors star’s sophomore NBA season when he drilled a triple despite Kobe ferociously putting the clamps on him:
“It was my second yr, and we were playing at Oracle and he was on the bench,” Curry said. “I did a dribble left and right in front of their bench and slightly pump fake after which hit the shot off the glass. And so they had the camera zoomed in on him, and he checked out me as I used to be happening the court and you could possibly see him say ‘That MF-er is sweet.’
“I didn’t see it in real time. I saw it afterward. He had said it under his breath they usually caught him on the camera saying it and someone sent it to me. It was dope. Once I saw it, that was a ‘Wow!’ moment. It’s corny, nevertheless it was considered one of those when-your-idols-become-your-rivals type vibes. However it was awesome. He recognized my skill level, and I didn’t even really know who I used to be as a player, in order that was one other style of confidence builder. Like, I’m doing something right.”
Many Kobe stories will come out again around the top of August as Bryant would have turned 44 on Tuesday — the day before Orange County and Los Angeles have a good time Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24.
The L.A. Dodgers hold Lakers Night on Wednesday with Austin Reaves throwing the primary pitch.
Kyrie Irving, Buddy Hield & others wish Bryant a blissful birthday
Many NBA stars honored Bryant’s memory on Aug. 23, the day of his birthday. Amongst them were Kyrie Irving and Buddy Hield — two players linked with a move to L.A. this summer.
Kobe’s former teammates, Pau Gasol and Caron Butler, joined in wishing the late Lakers legend a blissful birthday.