The story of the NBA on Thursday night was the excellent game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs. The Cavaliers defeated the Spurs 123-120 in overtime in what was one of the best games of the year and Kyrie Irving was the star of the night as he dropped 57 points on the defending champs.
Irving was on fire making 20 of 32 shots including all seven of his three-pointers, all while being defended tightly by a variety of Spurs defending him. In explaining his amazing night, Irving referenced a lesson he learned from Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
As long as my elbow is pointed at the rim, I feel like it has a great chance to go in. I learned that from Kobe Bryant. If you get a good look at it and your elbow is pointed at the rim, it has a great chance of going in.”
The influence of Kobe Bryant on the next generation of superstars continues with his lesson to one of the best young point guards in the NBA. Many recall Irving challenging Kobe to a game of one-on-one during the 2012 Olympic team practices, but that clearly didn’t stop Kobe from imparting some wisdom on the young kid.
Anthony Davis has also spoken about Kobe taking him under his wing during that time period and plenty of the league’s top players have credited Kobe with influencing their game. Even though Kobe’s playing career is winding down, his impact will still be felt through many of the NBA’s brightest stars.[divide]
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