Kobe Bryant was unarguably one of the top players in the history of the league. The Mamba spent 20 years in the NBA and held the title of the best player for an elongated period of time.
The biggest reason for his success in the league was his will to be the best version of himself and to surpass everyone around him. As a result, even from a young age Kobe was super competitive and wanted to be better than everyone.
Tyronn Lue, the Los Angeles Clippers head coach, recently shared a story about Bryant. Before becoming a full-time NBA coach, Lue used to play in the league. Although he wasn't a superstar in the league, he was still a solid role player in the NBA.
Additionally, Lue played with the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in his career. Today our focus is on the time when Lue used to share the court with the Mamba. The current Clippers head coach shared that it was literally near impossible to beat Kobe in 1-on-1 battles. Lue said:
"It was different because he was 19, 20 years old but he was like a professional, like he was a pro. Like it was like he was like 30. You know just the way that he carried himself, the way that he worked and the funny story was you know about his work ethic. We played 1-on-1 full court every day, my second year he broke his hand. They would go on trips all the time but we was staying back and playing 1-on-1 full court. And every day my cousin was like, ‘Man, why you can’t beat him?’ He’d beat me every damn time. … I was a great 1-on-1 player like I’m like man I don’t know why I can’t beat this dude. A year or two went by and Kobe became Kobe.”
Lue explained perfectly how amazing Bryant was even during his younger days. And defeating someone in full-court 1-on-1 games with just a single arm? It's truly sensational.
Since Lue has been around many great NBA players he also pointed out that Kobe, Jordan, and LeBron have one thing in common and that's their work ethic. And stories like these definitely prove Lue's point.