I texted him, I was like, “Man, you’ve allowed me to grow in my own space, but having guys like you that I can idolize and look up to, I’m going to take your legacy, or try to take your legacy even further and be on the same greatness wavelength as you.” That’s something we all strive to do. Whether it happens or not, who knows? But for me, idolizing somebody like that, Kobe and 'Bron, guys that I’ve been watching for a long time, when Kobe leaves the game, the game will never be the same.
Just the pure emotions that he has. For me that’s the biggest attribute that I’ve tried to emulate, just that emotion he comes with during the game and that seriousness that everyone is sort of afraid to have. When I say that, I mean going at everybody and anybody, that mentality on any given night, whether it’s a 2-guard or whether he’s playing against another great team, he’s coming with that same mentality every single game.
That’s something that we all would try to emulate. That competitiveness comes with that emotion, and it translates out on the floor. You can see it even when talking in interviews. I’ve been watching interviews of Kobe since I was about 12 years old or 13, and you could just feel it in the camera when he’s looking at it. When he went down with his Achilles injury, you could just tell in his face that we weren’t there when he was shooting or running up and down the court to get 35 per game, but he was putting his team in position to win and doing everything possible that no one was even aware of. All we could do was guess what he was doing, putting greatness out there on the floor. To me that was something great to see. I try to emulate that and take things from his game and turn it into my own. But he’s Kobe Bryant. There’s not going to be anybody like him.