Coming up on one year since the passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, emotions are beginning to run high within the organization and NBA family as a whole.
In his 20 year run with the Lakers, Bryant won five championships, two Finals MVP Awards, two scoring titles, was named 2008 MVP and won the Slam Dunk Contest, among other achievements. He was also an 18-time NBA All-Star, and 15-time All-NBA Team and 12-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection.
Aside from the plethora of personal accomplishments, Bryant produced an endless amount of memories that inspired a new generation of basketball fans and players. Among those is Anthony Davis, who developed an appreciation for the Lakers icon even as he more closely watched LeBron James.
“Believe it or not, when I was younger it was more the LeBron era. I was always watching him, but I did watch Kob’,” Davis explained.
“Being from Chicago, MJ, and then watching Kobe kind of emulate his game and back-to-the-basket turnaround stuff always stood out to me. Just how much space you can create with a small turn of the shoulder, so I always watched that aspect.”
Kobe’s legacy has transcended his abilities on the hardwood. His aura and mentality has captivated people outside of basketball since his days coming out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia.
Bryant’s Mamba Mentality has inspired millions to be fierce competitors and strive to be their best in all aspects of life. “The way he was on the floor — a fierce competitor — the way he was off the floor — such a loving guy — I think it’s hard for people not to love Kobe and not see the inspiration that he tried to give to the world,” Davis said.
“Especially with his daughters, the way he supported them and did so much with them. I think it just sets a standard for what everyone tries to become as a parent and for men, as a man, as a father, as a husband. All of those things he was, you try to look at how great he was at those things and try to do the same thing with your personal life.”
Davis had ‘Kobe moment’ in playoffs
After hitting a 3-pointer to seal Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Davis yelled “Kobe.” The team fittingly was in their Black Mamba jersey, and in the locker room head coach Frank Vogel said Davis had a ‘Kobe moment.’
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