Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was known to do anything possible to have a competitive advantage over his opponents. From middle-of-the-night workouts to staying after the game to shoot around, Bryant was the definition of having a killer instinct.
The five-time NBA champion’s idol, Michael Jordan, famously wore 23 on his jersey and served as the prime inspiration for Bryant’s legendary basketball career. While Bryant desired to be better than Jordan by perfecting his moves and developing a similar style of play and attitude, the Black Mamba also switched his jersey number from 8 to 24 to gain an edge over Jordan.
In a recent episode of his podcast, another NBA legend from that era in Kevin Garnett explained the meaning behind Bryant’s decision to wear No. 24. Garnett emphasized that the jersey number switch was to be one higher than Jordan and painted the picture of the rest of Bryant’s famous career, via ESPN:
Though the two Hall of Fame shooting guards will always be involved in the debate about who is better, Bryant certainly put his excellent work ethic on display by chasing Jordan, who most individuals label as the GOAT.
Bryant always had a meaning behind everything, and hearing Garnett’s insightful story solidified how obsessed he was with being a true competitor and winner.
Reaves believes Lakers need to focus on winning one game at a time
It is crunch time for the current Lakers as the NBA regular season begins to near its last couple of games before the postseason starts. For teams like the Lakers, there can be no time wasted in acting upon their desire to be a competitive playoff team.
Since the trade deadline, the Lakers have drastically improved. They are winning games they wouldn’t have before, and are doing so while shorthanded with LeBron James and others missing time.
Considering the hole the Lakers dug for themselves early in the season and the current landscape in the Western Conference, every game is extremely important for this team.
One person who understands that is young guard Austin Reaves as he recently emphasized the importance of continuing to take things one game at a time, controlling what they can control and not focusing on the standings.
Being without James is tough, but if the Lakers can continue to rack up wins and make the postseason, then they could be a team nobody wants to face when it counts.
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