Over the course of Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, the superstar has played with many different teammates. Although Bryant has gone through his fair share of teammates during his time with the Lakers, few have experienced winning multiple titles while playing alongside the future Hall of Famer like Devean George did during his stint with the team.
George, along with other former Lakers teammates Brian Shaw, Horace Grant and Ron Harper, took part in an interview for The Players’ Tribune to talk about how they’ll remember Kobe.
George, like many other teammates and opponents, remembers Bryant for his competitive drive. The former Laker believes Kobe’s competitiveness was on another level entirely:
Kobe isn’t a loud competitor. He’s a quiet, psycho competitor. I believe he’s talking to himself inside, drilling himself. He’s at home watching film 24 hours a day when the cameras aren’t on him.
People know he works hard, but I think it’s almost underrated in a way. I don’t think the average person fully understands how psycho competitive he was, because it didn’t end when the game was over and the lights went down. Seriously — I would go to the gym at 6 a.m., and Kobe would already be there dripping wet, ready to leave.
As Bryant’s 20th and final season comes to a close, the Lakers legend will almost certainly be remembered by many for his relentless drive. George also believes it will be the sustained greatness over two decades in the NBA:
Kobe’s legacy is how long he sustained greatness. There’s so many levels of respect in the NBA. To be dominant for 20 years? That’s ultimate respect. That’s why you see all these great players now just in awe of him as he goes out the door. The NBA is great at figuring people out, but there’s a select few that you just can’t. Nobody ever really got at Kobe. The only person who was ever able to stop Kobe Bryant was father time.
On Wednesday, Bryant will play his final game in purple and gold with the Lakers hosting the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center. Many of Kobe’s former teammates are expected to be in attendance as the team, fans, and city of Los Angeles send off arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.