The Los Angeles Lakers may have added two superstars this off-season, but at the end of the day, this is still Kobe Bryant’s team. Bryant will be the one taking over games during the post-season and the praise, or the criticism, will fall on him once the season ends.
Bryant is known for his competitive nature and that is something he tries to instill in his teammates. The Lakers take on Bryant’s personality on the court and that fierce attitude is the key to Bryant’s success.
Kobe Bryant spoke to ESPN and he discussed the mentality he has whenever he steps onto the court. Kobe touched upon his basketball relationship with Shaquille O’Neal and how Dwight Howard has the potential to be an “a******” just like him.
“Magic was like that. You saw Magic barking at guys. He was the point guard, the general, so you saw him yelling instructions a lot. And he’s extremely competitive. But he still played the game with a smile on his face.”
Just like Shaquille O’Neal, right?
“No. They’re different,” Bryant said. “Shaq was a goofball. But Shaq was a big a——. I was a little a——. It worked well. Dwight has a lot of that in him. He just needs to bring it out and make guys pay every single day.”
With that competitive nature, not only does Bryant push himself, but he also makes sure his teammates are working as hard as they can. There are many times when Bryant is barking at his teammates during games and practices; however, with the right intentions. If the other Lakers have the same mentality as Bryant does, there will not be a harder working team in the league.
This expectation Bryant has for Howard speaks to the trust he have invested into Howard. Bryant has hinted at his retirement date recently,and Bryant is expecting that Howard will be the face of the Lakers once his career ends. Kobe wants to leave the Lakers with a few more championship rings and he also wants to make sure he puts the Lakers in a position so they can win more titles.