Kobe Bryant's basketball accomplishments are iconic on their own, but it was his Kobe Instinct – a combination of will to win and the ability to come up clutch when it mattered most – that separated him as a legend. As he surveys the current NBA landscape, the recently retired Bryant sees that instinct most in Golden State's Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, according to an ESPN interview.
"There are several of them out there right now that approach the game extremely, extremely seriously," Bryant said. "I get a kick out of watching Golden State play, because they seem very unassuming. Klay and Steph seem very calm and nice guys. Those guys are stone-cold killers. They don't care about what you think of them. They don't care about whether they make a game-winning shot or miss it. They're out there to do their job, and they have a very strong sense of the killer instinct."
Though others, like Russell Westbrook, might play the game with a more overt competitiveness, it's hard to argue with Bryant's point, and of course the Mamba sees himself in the leaders of perhaps the best team in NBA history. Would you expect anything less?
Earlier in the fascinating interview, Bryant commented on the dramatic differences between LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two best players alive.
"Their styles of play are diametrically opposed to each other," Bryant said. "I mean, it's pretty interesting to see the force Cleveland plays with and the physicality versus the fluidity of Golden State, so it should be an interesting series."
Kobe has been making the press rounds to promote the NBA 2K franchise, for which he is a leading endorser. Earlier this week, he spoke on learning from business leaders like Anna Wintour and Arianna Huffington, while a few weeks ago he mentioned his mentorship from Steven Spielberg.
This is just the latest case of Kobe recognizing and associating himself with fellow greatness. Game Two of the NBA Finals will take place Sunday at 8 p.m.
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