The greatness, attitude, work ethic, and style Kobe Bryant displayed in the basketball world during his long and illustrious career left an immeasurable impact on tons of young players that came up watching him play. Amongst those players is one of the best players and centers in today’s NBA, the beast from Philly, Joel Embiid.
After his 76ers beat the Pistons on Saturday night, Embiid spoke to the media and shared how Kobe made him fall in love with the game:
“I was about 13 or something like that. It was the Finals against Boston and it was my first time watching NBA basketball and it happened to be on the Lakers. All I kept hearing about was Kobe, and they won that year. That was the first time I watched and that was also when I fell in love with basketball, and that’s why he became my favorite player. I will say that I’m probably here because of him.”Joel Embiid, CBS Sports
But Kobe’s impact wouldn’t just inspire him to play basketball. Embiid wanted to play like Kobe and model his game after “The Mamba”. We can definitely see that as Embiid feet work in the post, and fadeaway shots have that dash of Kobe’s flare in them.
“Kobe, we miss him a lot. I miss him a lot. He was my favorite player and even when you watch the way I play basketball and the moves that I’ve added, especially when it comes to fadeaways over both shoulders, that comes from a lot of tapes on Kobe’s game. I miss him a lot. I wish he was still here with us.”Joel Embiid, CBS Sports
Embiid shared his admiration and respect for Kobe on numerous occasions, giving the gone legend tributes whenever he can. But the best compliment he can give Kobe is taking his 76ers to the promised land this season while using the stuff he learned from Kobe to do it. It just goes to show how even though he is no longer with us, Kobe’s legacy and impact are still being felt and will continue to be as younger generations watch and learn from one of the best to do it.