Kobe Bryant was fearless. There was no situation that he ever feared during a game. If it were up to him, he would take on a whole team by himself if he felt it would give him a chance at glory.
This fearlessness made Bryant one of the greatest players in NBA history. Kobe would always take the option that allowed him to have the most control over the outcome of the game. If Bryant were to fail, he would do it on his own terms.
The Black Mamba found incredible success in the NBA because of his sheer grit and determination. He would not let anyone get in the way of what he was trying to do. And that is something that teams would often try to capitalize on.
One player that is often put in the same category as Kobe Bryant is Devin Booker. While Booker has not had the success that Kobe did in his early years, he plays with a similar style and mindset when it comes to the game.
Booker had an incredible 2020-21 season, where he helped lead the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals. But in the Finals, the Suns weren't able to get past Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
During Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Booker was double-teamed in the dying moments of the game. A turnover ended up costing Phoenix the win and then the series.
Ironically, Booker had been double-teamed in a practice session earlier, and he got frustrated because he didn't want to practice being double-teamed. And on the biggest stage, that is exactly what happened to him.
Kobe Bryant actually reacted to the viral footage of Booker getting frustrated with double-teams. During an interview, Bryant revealed that he was constantly doubled during games.
While he did understand Booker's frustration with being doubled, he did warn him that that is exactly what would happen during the season.
“Say you gotta send another one. I understand what Book is saying though. Because in the summertime, you’re working on a particular skillset. And so when you’re in that isolation situation, you wanna try the things that you’ve been working on in the gym. Doubles coming, you don’t have time to do that. (At) the same time, they’re going to double-team you in the season anyway.”
Because of Kobe's elite skill and his unmatched desire to win, teams knew that isolating Bryant was the only way to stop him. But more often than not, Bryant would get the upper hand despite the odds being stacked against him.