Monday, February 18, 2013

Kobe Bryant & LeBron James: The Competitive Spirit at Its Finest





“When have I not competed?” 
--Kobe Bryant, talking before the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston Sunday night, reminding fans and the media about his ever-present competitive spirit, despite starting in his 15th All-Star Game.

Kobe Bryant has been able to avoid complacency throughout his 17-year career. The NBA All-Star Game's all-time leading scorer, Bryant finished with nine points, eight assists and four rebounds, but, most importantly, shut down Eastern Conference All-Star LeBron James at the end of the game when it counted. Bryant helped to preserve a West All-Star win on Sunday night at the NBA All-Star Game. In the fourth quarter, Bryant asked to guard the James, of the Miami Heat, the current NBA MVP.  Bryant blocked James shot twice during crunch time.

When asked if he was surprised by Kobe's defensive performance, James said: "No, he does it all the time. I am absolutely not surprised. It was all in good spirit. It was just two guys who love to compete, (who) love to go at it. It was a lot of fun."

"It's fun to be out there with them," New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said of James and Bryant. "It's fun to see. It brings the best out of everybody, as you can see…I love that competitive spirit, that competitive nature in Kobe and LeBron."

Despite his Lakers' being a long-shot to even reach the playoffs, Bryant remains motivated for more titles.

“I was concerned about reaching the first one, and the second one, the third. There’s always that concern, which keeps you prepared, keeps you on edge."  
--Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers' All-Star, discussing his championship hunger.

Excerpts from the nytimes.com (February 15, 2013), washingtonpost.com (February 18, 2013), usatoday.com (February 18, 2013).



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