The last few draft classes had ushered in the beginning of the new generation of NBA players. The group is essentially described as those who were born in the post-Michael Jordan era of basketball. And some missed the dominant years of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as well.
None of the players from the 2018 NBA Draft were alive for Jordan’s first three-peat and most of them weren’t alive for some of his second one. So this generation grew up watching basketball in the 2000s.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that for many, Bryant is their favorite player. Bryant truly defined the 2000s.
From 2000-10, Bryant won five titles, making the playoffs nine times, and reaching the NBA Finals seven times. In addition, Bryant won two scoring titles and an MVP Award. His career left a lasting impression on many, and included in that group is Utah Jazz rookie Grayson Allen.
Heading into his first season out of Duke, Allen will wear No. 24, in part because of Bryant, via Eric Woodyard of The Desert News:
“When I was looking at the list of numbers, that’s the first one that popped out at me. There’s really not much else to it than that. It could be because I grew up watching Kobe, No. 24. When I was looking at them, I saw 24 popped out at me, so I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve got to go with that.’”
Although more players tend to identify with LeBron James as opposed to Bryant, it’s worth noting the five-time champion still is remembered and recognized, just as Jordan and Magic Johnson, among others, are as well.
With so many new young players coming into the league, Bryant’s name will come up a ton as the players’ inspiration. And that should only help the legacy of one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
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