Kobe Bryant is currently in his 16th NBA season, and in that time, Bryant has won five NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs and a regular season MVP. It is safe to say that Bryant has stayed motivated and has always had a drive to win. However, unlike some of the all-time greats in previous decades who were aiming to beat a rival, Kobe says he never had an opponent who he wanted to beat.
Bryant said he wanted to beat everyone who stood in his way and got up for every team, not just a single player.
“I didn’t have one,” Bryant said when talking about rivals in his career. “I get up for everybody just the same, to be honest. It’s hard for me to turn my meter up any higher than it normally is.”
Kobe is undoubtedly one of the most goal-driven players in the NBA and is applauded for his motivation to be the best player every game. According to him, there is never a player who he wanted to out-perform, in his eyes every opponent was his enemy and he did whatever he could to win.
The rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird was truly one of two players and two teams. If the season was not going as planned for Magic and the Lakers, a win over the Celtics could have turned the tide. Johnson and Bird were the ultimate competitors, and they would do anything to beat the other. When Magic and Bird hit the court, the energy level was at a high and the games seemed to matter more.
Looking back, it is hard to find a player who you can call Kobe’s rival. Perhaps the greatest thing about Bryant’s career is the fact that essentially everyone was his rival, all he wanted to do and still wants to do it make sure he beats every opponent he faces.