We know a lot of stories about Kobe Bryant and his fierce competitiveness, but apparently, we haven’t discovered everything about the Los Angeles Lakers legend. Sue Bird of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm delivered one story about the late veteran and what he did back in 2008, while he was representing Team USA in the Olympic Games.
According to Bird, Kobe, who was one of the leaders of the so-called ‘redemption team’, saw a picture of Paul Pierce celebrating. Pierce had won the NBA championship that year with the Boston Celtics alongside Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, beating the Lakers in the Finals. That was the only motivation Kobe needed and he decided to carry that pic around with him as a reminder.
“He didn’t say a word,” Bird said during an Instagram live. “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.”
That was the first time Bird met Bryant and you could say she was impressed by KB24. Kobe could go to work and his motivation was more visible than ever. He went to the Finals once again in 2009, defeating the Dwight Howard-led Orlando Magic in 5 games, before taking revenge on Pierce and the Celtics the following year in one of the most dramatic Finals in recent times.
Kobe died last January 26 in a helicopter crash and ever since then, we haven’t stopped seeing people paying homages to him, remembering how great he was and the impact he made in the game and the lives of the people who saw him play or even see how he got his motivation ahead of new challenges.