Kobe Bryant is no longer the feared and revered Black Mamba of years past. Since retiring in April, he has become a beloved brand ambassador for the NBA.
Recently, Bryant reminded everyone that his competitive fire hasn’t wavered a single bit. When asked to comment about Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors, the five-time NBA champion said he doesn’t look at the situation the same way most basketball pundits do.
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” Bryant revealed on The Jim Rome Show. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
In his illustrious 19-year career, Bryant has been no stranger to super teams. He was part of the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers with Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton. The group never won a championship together, but the core of Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom won back-to-back titles.
Bryant was never the one to back down from any challenge. The former MVP stated that he sees snippets of himself in Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
“When I turn on the TV and watch players play, the player who plays with the same kind of emotion and grit and competitive intensity is Russell,” Bryant explained. “He’s going hard, doesn’t matter who’s playing against, doesn’t matter what the odds are. He’s going 110 percent every single time.”
Earlier this month, CBS Sports reported that basketball legend Michael Jordan sees a bit of himself in Westbrook. The flattering words came from a man who generally dislikes being compared to players who came after him, including Bryant, who many believe was the closest thing to Jordan in his generation.
For more NBA news, you can subscribe to our newsletter. If you are a social media junkie and would like to receive updates on your timeline, then you can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.