Few athletes were as motivated when playing on the court as Kobe Bryant. Kobe played in the NBA for 20 years, establishing himself as one of the greatest to ever take to the court.
One of the most frightening things about playing against Kobe was his unparalleled determination. Bryant was always looking to make his opponents suffer, making sure that he would get the win at any cost.
Bryant was extremely competitive and always came into every game he played extremely motivated. Bryant didn't just want to win but also wanted to make sure he sent a message to the opposing teams about just how good he truly was.
The perfect example of this is Kobe's historic 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Bryant made history that night, putting up the second-most points in a single game in NBA history, only behind Wilt Chamberlain's historic 100 points.
In 2009, Kobe Bryant went to Madison Square Garden with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant had been extremely motivated all season, mostly because of the disappointing loss he and the Lakers suffered in the 2008 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics.
Present at the Garden was none other than legendary director and Knicks superfan Spike Lee. Lee must have said something to Kobe during the game, because he used those words for additional motivation, dropping 61 against the Knicks at MSG.
After the game, Kobe met Spike in the hallway of the arena, where he blamed Lee for his own performance. He even added that Michael Jordan dropping 55 points on the Knicks was also because of him.
"MJ 55? Your fault. 61? your fault."
Kobe never needed any extra motivation to humiliate an opponent, always using his own drive and determination to take the competition to the other team. It's the spirit to dominate that allowed Bryant to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.
In his legendary 20-year career, Kobe won 5 NBA championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 regular-season MVP, and several All-Star nominations. His presence on the court was always a sight to behold. But that sight became a nightmare for Knicks fans on this night in 2009.