While the quarantine continues all around the world, forcing all sports competition to stop, athletes are using social networks to stay in touch with the fans. Some of them post Instagram stories, some of them stream video games, some of them do podcasts, and some go live on Instagram and share stories about their amazing experiences. WNBA legend Sue Bird shared one of those stories, and it involves Kobe Bryant.
The story took place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was Kobe's first Olympic games, in the year when he won his first and only regular-season MVP, and the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals in six games. Bird met Bryant for the first time at the Olympics and got to spend some time with him. Bird was hanging out with Kobe and others one night when Kobe noticed newspaper, which featured a 2008 NBA finals MVP Paul Pierce's photo. Bryant picked up the newspaper and cut Pierce's photo out.
“He didn’t say a word. He didn’t say anything. But we saw him take the paper, he started cutting out the Paul Pierce picture, he folded it up, he put it in his pocket. And he was like, ‘motivation.’“ And we were like, ‘Ohhhhh.’ It never stops with him. You could just tell.”
Kobe first took care of the Olympics, winning the gold medal vs. Spain in the finals and knocking down a four point-play in the last minutes of the game, when Spain was down by just five. Then he went on to win a back to back NBA title, defeating Dwight Howard's Orlando Magic in 2009 and then getting his revenge on the Boston Celtics in 2010. Kobe was finals MVP in both of those series, proving that he can win championships as the unquestionable best player on the team.
Kobe's mentality and insane work ethic are what made him one of the greatest ever to dribble the ball. Numerous stories show Bryant's tunnel-vision on winning, and how he used little things, like this Paul Pierce's photo to keep himself motivated and focused. Kobe's mind is his greatest basketball-related legacy and is the reason why Kobe keeps on inspiring people all around the world.