As Kobe Bryant’s 20 year run with the Los Angeles Lakers comes to an end, many of Bryant’s contemporaries are beginning to recall their favorite memories from Kobe’s journey.
Whether it is players who Kobe battled against through the years, or former teammates who saw Kobe grow from high school kid to superstar, the greatness of Kobe is being recognized everywhere.
Kobe has long been known as a fierce competitor on the court and in a recent piece on The Player’s Tribune, former teammate Horace Grant recalls Kobe looking to intimidate opponents well before the game began:
“Kobe was different. He would come right up to you during the handshake and tell you he didn’t like you and that he was going to destroy you. Seriously, he wouldn’t just say it in the pregame, he would say it in the heat of battle. He didn’t care who you were.”
Grant noted that Kobe was looking to plant doubt in his opponent’s head, which would signal the end for them:
“He’d say, “I can’t believe they’re putting you on me. Are you serious? You think you can guard me?” And he wasn’t joking. He meant it. And the defender knew he meant it. That’s the difference. He would plant that seed of doubt in their mind. And when you had that seed of doubt against Kobe, it was over.”
Kobe is known as one of the most diabolical competitors the NBA has ever seen and any advantage he could get, either physical or mental, he was going to take advantage of.
It seems almost unreal that only two games are remaining in Kobe Bryant’s career. The NBA simply won’t be the same without Kobe on the court.