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Ray Allen Explains Why He And Kobe Bryant Never Talked Trash Each Other: "There Was A Mutual Respect. The Trash-Talking Just Never Happened Between Us"

(via SB Nation)

(via SB Nation)

Kobe Bryant's impact on the game of basketball goes way beyond his résumé. His sole presence often motivated his peers and rivals to be the best version of themselves every single night, as they know that The Black Mamba was going to be on their ears if they weren't.

It didn't take long for Kobe to win the respect of his colleagues. In fact, most people knew he was going to be special from the very first day they saw him bouncing a basketball. But more than that, his personality is what made him stand out the most.

That's what Ray Allen - who was never friends with him - seems to remember the most about Kobe, as he recently shared during an interview with Macklin Stern of CBS Sports: 

"I always remember Kobe before we got drafted in '96. He was very excited coming out of high school, and he appreciated being in the situation he was in. [Kobe] lived in Pennsylvania, so he had a connection to Big East basketball. We had a conversation on the bus going to the Draft Combine, and it felt like he was just happy to get drafted. That's what I'll always remember about him: Regardless of what he achieved, he was a man with excitement and zeal for life," Allen said.

Ray and Kobe never had much of a relationship but they respected each other's game and competitive spirit. In fact, he claimed that there was never actual trash-talking between the two, which is crazy considering how much Bryant enjoyed that fine art:

"Honestly, no. Between me and Kobe, there wasn't any trash-talking. There was a mutual respect. The trash-talking just never happened between us," Allen added.

Kobe's tragic passing left a huge void in the basketball community but he'll always be remembered for being a strong competitor, a guy that would never hesitate to go the extra mile to get the job done, and that motivated even his fiercest rivals throughout his entire career.