Kobe Bryant was never a player that would shy away from telling teammates what they needed to hear. Bryant was comfortable making others uncomfortable if he knew it would ultimately make the Los Angeles Lakers a better team. Dealing with comfort zone issues is something Bryant has helped New Orleans Pelicans star, Anthony Davis, overcome.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Bryant inspired Davis to become a vocal leader after saying the following to the up-and-comer at a Nike event back in 2015:
“A guy has something in his teeth, and other guys just talk to him and let him be. They’re not going to tell him,” Bryant told Davis. “I’m going to be the guy to tell you you’ve got something between your teeth. Then it’s on you whether you want to walk around looking stupid. But I am going to tell you.”
Davis intends to put Kobe’s advice into action during the 2016-17 NBA season. Davis admits it’s all about getting out of the comfort zone to reach the next level of his development as a leader of the Pelicans, via Ding:
“I know in order for us to win, in order for us to have success, I’ve got to get out of my comfort zone. That’s what I’m determined to do this year.”
Bryant may be a few months removed from his final game with the Lakers, but his words are still inspiring the best and brightest in the NBA. Davis is one of many of the league’s young stars who has viewed Kobe as somewhat of a mentor.
After winning an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving had a FaceTime conversation with Bryant. Earlier in the playoffs, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors was texting back and forth with Kobe for guidance.
Needless to say, Bryant’s presence is still being felt with the next generation of stars looking to learn from the five-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer.