There are only a few athletes who become bigger than the sport they play, and Kobe Bryant was one of them. And that, pretty much, has nothing to do with his untimely death.
It was his determination, will, and hunger to win that made him different from anybody else. The latter of the three qualities, much like his idol Michael Jordan, made him one of the most difficult to deal with, even as a teammate.
And one of his former teammates in LA explained a couple of months back, what are we trying to explain here with some perfect examples.
Kobe Bryant was sicko when it came to winning: Matt Barnes
Talking to DJ VLAD, former Kobe Bryant teammate and also one of the most famous opponents with whom his no-flinch clip is famous among the non-basketball crowd as well, talked about how The Black Mamba was mad for winning.
Vlad talked about how the 18-time All-Star was driven by wins and brought up the story of him asking his teammates to remove his shoes when they were on a losing streak and weren’t serious enough in practice.
Barnes gave his analogy, explaining how Kobe never left the Lakers by choice even when the team had no other stars and couldn’t get him his 6th ring which he wanted so badly to equal MJ.
The 2017 NBA champ said Bryant was “sicko” when it came to winning and did not understand the zone his younger teammates were in, even after having a losing record.
The Mamba won everything, but still wanted more!
In his glorious 20-year NBA career, Bryant achieved everything a basketball player could aspire for.
Several All-star, All-NBA, All-Defensive team selections, MVP, and Finals MVPs, he won everything and was still hungry for more until he retired.
But being an MJ fanatic, he didn’t just copy his game, but also his work ethic. However, he took it to a level that was not humane and left us all with The Mamba Mentality.