You can say a lot of things about Kobe Bryant but one you definitely cannot say is that he ever lacked confidence. If anything, he wanted to take every single shot because he knew he was often the best choice on the court, regardless of who he shared the court with.
Kobe was always like that. In fact, he got into Shaquille O'Neal's face during his rookie season because Shaq asked him for the ball and he just wasn't going to pass it.
As the late Los Angeles Lakers legend recalled in an interview with Patrick Bet-David, he told Shaq - who was already a bonafide superstar at the time - to get the ball off the rebound if he missed because he just wasn't going to stop shooting:
"Hey said, 'Dude, you got to throw me the ball,' " Bryant said of O'Neal. "I said. 'F--k that. Get it off the rebound if I miss, bro.'Eighteen years old, man, 18-years-old," Bryant said in full laughter. "I must have been out of my damn mind," Kobe told Patrick Bet-David.
That happened during a Lakers win over the Phoenix Suns. Bryant scored 16 points off the bench in what was his best game in the NBA up to date after some early struggles in his career.
That's just a testament as to how much of a competitive beast Kobe Bryant was. He wanted to prove to the rest of the world that he was ready to take a step forward and that he was also a special talent. He never felt like taking a step back to anybody, even though he was just an 18-year-old rookie and Shaq was arguably the best big man in the world.
Fast-forward to the end of his career and Kobe is now a legend not only because of his work on the court but also for the way he inspired millions of people to always be the best version of themselves and push themselves to the edge every single day. Mamba Forever!