Kyrie Irving isn't somebody who shies away from giving his opinion. The current Brooklyn Nets superstar has been very outspoken on issues that matter to him regardless of who can feel offended by his opinion. Just this season, he was fined a lot of times for his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Irving has always had strong opinions about anything, and that doesn't seem to be changing, even if that means losing big opportunities in the process. While his situation with the Brooklyn Nets is uncertain, Kyrie is trying to kill time playing video games while live streaming and talking with fans.
Recently, he named his mentor Kobe Bryant the greatest player of all time, defending his opinion against everybody, showing how much respect he had for Kobe's game. In one of his latest live streams, Kyrie recalled an old story of having dinner with Kobe, where the Black Mamba tried to tease and motivate him a little bit.
At some point, he mentioned that when the greatest to play the game talked to him like that; he needed to pay attention. Irving quickly turned the conversation to the GOAT discussion, saying he wasn't trying to diminish anybody, but for him, Kobe was the GOAT (1:12):
"He said, 'Nah man, I think Golden State is going to win the championship this year'. And you know, you have a few responses that you could get back at the greatest to play this game. By the way, when I say 'greatest to play the game', it doesn't mean I'm knocking everybody else. The greatest to play the game to me, I don't give a f**k, I don't care about your stats, I don't f***ing care. The greatest to play the game to me..."
Kyrie then kept telling the story of how he told Kobe that wouldn't happen. In three Finals matchups against the Warriors, Irving won one, the most iconic in 2016. Kobe helped him during those times, giving him advice when the big moments arrived and Irving delivered.
These two had a close relationship, with the Los Angeles Lakers legend becoming a mentor for Kyrie, and having a big influence on him during the last years of his career. Kyrie grew up watching Kobe doing his thing and after he had the chance to work with him and see firsthand what Kobe was capable of doing, there was no doubt for the point guard. Kobe is the GOAT in his eyes.