As the career of Kobe Bryant winds down and his final games finish out, the NBA will lose one of its greatest players, along with one of its best competitors. Kobe is known for his aggression and competitiveness and very few players in the history of the league have been able to match that.
There is one player who stands out to Kobe amongst the active stars of today’s NBA as having that edge and competitiveness. In an NBA TV interview with Ahmad Rashad, Kobe highlighted Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook as having that competitiveness via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Kobe: "Westbrook plays mean. He plays mean like I did w/ an aggression."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 17, 2015
Anyone who has ever seen Westbrook play a game would have to agree with Kobe’s assessment as Westbrook is one of the most intense players in the NBA. While the skill set between he and Kobe is different, the drive to win and dominate every game is the same.
Much like Kobe, Westbrook has dealt with some injury issues in recent years and has come back stronger than before each time. Kobe has spoken about enjoying the process more as he has gotten older and now as the older player, he is likely to pass that off to someone like Westbrook.
Westbrook remains a distant dream for Lakers fans. Graduating from Leuzinger High School and playing two years at UCLA, Westbrook is at home in Southern California. Maybe one day he can carry on Kobe’s legacy in the purple and gold, but he won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 season so fans will have to wait patiently.[divide]