Few NBA players have ever demonstrated the same amount of dedication to their sport as the late, great Kobe Bryant did. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the top player for the Milwaukee Bucks, may be considered one of them.
Giannis, meanwhile, would much rather exclude Kobe from the discussion if you asked him. Giannis just wants to keep it genuine, but Antetokounmpo has nothing but admiration and love for the late Los Angeles Lakers star (via Eric Nehm of The Athletic):
I will never say this, I will never disrespect the name of the great Kobe. I don t like mentioning him, Antetokounmpo said. I feel like he should be mentioned, should never be forgotten. But I don t like mentioning his name to bring attention to the conversation that we are about to have. I wasn t close to him. I wasn t this with him or that with him. But I would say this, in some areas of his mindset, I think we re very similar.
Gianni’s assertion in this instance is difficult to contest. Just like Kobe, this man has an exceptional mindset when it comes to honing his art and he never rests on his laurels.
I might not be as talented as him, but when we re talking about a guy that worked extremely hard from his first day until he retired. A guy that plays to win, a guy that pushes himself to the limit, a guy that has a killer mentality when he steps on the court, Antetokounmpo said. It s almost like having I think he had two personalities.
Like when we were on the sideline and we were talking and I was taking notes, laughing smiling, joking around, talking. But when we stepped on the court, It was like motherf er didn t even know me. I thought you were like my friend. ”
Giannis then remembered a memorable encounter with Kobe in which he saw the fabled Mamba Mentality firsthand. Although Antetokounmpo has one of the best work ethics around, even he was surprised by the level of dedication Bryant demanded:
“Again. Again. Again. Again,” Antetokounmpo relayed. “ My bad, Kobe. How many more times are we gonna do it? Twenty-five. OK, 25. No, 25 makes. Twenty-five makes on the same move? And it s not like you re just shooting. You re going hard. I was like, damn, this guy is different.
As he previously stated, Giannis was never able to forge a close bond with Kobe. The Bucks star, though, genuinely acknowledges Bryant’s brilliance, and this has undoubtedly had a huge influence on him even now.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks explains why he doesn’t enjoy when Kobe Bryant comparisons are made in the article “I Don’t Like Mentioning Him” that first featured on ClutchPoints.