If you follow sports, you have to know who Kobe Bryant was. Maybe some look at him as a basketball player and nothing else, but Kobe was much more than that. He was a big influence not only for his colleagues but for athletes of different sports. Proof of that is the admiration that players like Ronaldinho or even Neymar had for him.

However, it’s very interesting to see how one of the most successful managers of a different sport praised the Black Mamba when he was taking a new challenge. Current Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho quoted the NBA legend during his first press conference as Spurs’ new boss.

Mourinho hailed Kobe’s ‘professionalism’ and quoted the ‘serial winner’ as he laid out his future plans for the North London side.

“I read one quote from Kobe Bryant,” the 57-year-old told reporters.

“And if you have to speak about some examples of professionalism and serial winners, Kobe is a great example in his sport and in the world of sport.

He says: “People say that I’m difficult but I’m only difficult for the ones that don’t share my principles.” So all the colleagues that share his principles they just love him.

“The ones that don’t like him are the ones that don’t share the principles.”

The Champions League winner went on to add: “With me, it’s basically the same. For me, everything is about the team, it’s not about selfish people.

“For me, everything is about the group and professionalism and commitment and respect for the club, respect for the mates, respect for the fans.

“I cannot run away from this so if there is somebody that doesn’t share these principles with me, then we have a problem and we will always have a problem because this is the way I think football has to be.

“The players are only big when they make the others better. You cannot be a big player if you just think about yourself.

“That’s another principle. To be a big player, you have to make others big. If I have players that think they are big and they just care about themselves, and forget to help others to be big, we are always going to have a problem.”

Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on Sunday following a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

Kobe enjoyed a terrific career with his only team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers, collecting plenty of collective and individual awards, inspiring the new generations and even veteran managers from other sports, like Mourinho.