NBA history forever intrigues, inspires and pushes Kobe Bryant.
It gave him a sense as a child of how to study the greats before him. As Bryant continuously cements a 17-year legacy that spans five NBA championships, two Finals MVPS and a fifth-place standing on the league's all-time scoring list, the history provides a gauge as to where he stands among the elite. Such perspective also enhances Bryant's foreshadowing on the league's future.
When the Lakers (9-10) play the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-4) tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Bryant will go against speedy UCLA product Russell Westbrook and scoring machine Kevin Durant and see mirror images of himself.
"They just don't give a (hoot)," Bryant said. "That's really it. Not too many players have had that. Michael (Jordan) had it. I had it. Durant has it. Westbrook has it. They just don't care about pressure situations or criticism."
Does Bryant sense those players learned that mentality after seeing him play?
"For sure," he said. "They watched me growing up and saw how I dealt with criticism and all this other stuff. I just put my head down and kept playing ... They're cut from the same cloth."
Bryant seemed reflective following the Lakers' win Wednesday night over the New Orleans Hornets, in which he became the youngest player in NBA history at 34 years and 105 days old to score more than 30,000 points. Currently at 30,016 career points, Bryant joins an esteemed cast of players who have reached that plateau, including three other Lakers. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38.387), Karl Malone (36,928), Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) have scored more points.
Kobe Bryant passes on love of history
L.A. Daily News | Dec 7