As arguably one of the best defensive guards in NBA history, Gary Payton knows a thing or two about confidence and hard work.
The former Laker admits that Kobe was a bit of a cocky youngster when the two played together in Los Angeles, but everything he said he was going to do, he did it, according to quote from Payton in Shaq’s book, My Story: Shaq Uncut:
“Kobe was so young and so immature in some ways, but I can tell you this: everything Kobe is doing now, he told me all the way back then he was going to do it. We were sitting on the bus once and he told me, “I’m going to be the number one scorer for the Lakers, I’m going to win five or six championships, and I’m going to be the best player in the game.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.” Then he looked me right in the eye and said, “I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA.”
It is a shame that Payton and Kobe didn’t play together longer, but it is pretty clear that Bryant left a lasting impression one of the greatest point guards of all time.
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