3 Years After Calabasas Heartbreak, 49ers Star Paints Timeless Tribute to Kobe Bryant’s Immortal Influence

Published 10/08/2023, 11:50 AM EDT

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It’s difficult to put into words the influence of the late great Kobe Bryant. Even years after his passing, we still hear new stories of how young talents were influenced by Kobe’s attitude and mentality. But saying the Black Mamba motivated a generation of NBA talents would be an understatement, as his grasp went beyond his own sport.

For a young wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, Kobe Bryant’s mentality was something that helped him get to where he was at his peak, after getting waived three times before finding his glory.

Kobe Bryant’s impact on Ray-Ray


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Raymond McCloud III joined the NFL in 2018. Famously known as “Ray-Ray”, he was recently on an episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. While talking about football and basketball, he mentioned that LeBron James was someone who would be able to succeed on the football field, from the current Los Angeles Lakers squad.

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Following that, Ray-Ray went on to explain how Kobe Bryant had influenced him. He mentioned that he is a big fan of Kobe Bryant. This made Scoop B ask him what about Kobe Bryant’s game he was a fan of.


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He explains that it was the mentality. Kobe was never afraid of the bright lights. He wanted to always take the last shot. Kobe was not afraid of anyone or any moment. He would step up to the moment, take the last shot, and live with the result.


Kobe always put the weight of the team on his back. He would take responsibility for a win or a loss, carry the team, and always look for the last shot. Kobe would not settle, and Ray-Ray wants to have a similar mentality in his own game.


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Kobe’s impact on athletes

Kobe has influenced his own peers and a younger generation of talent. Allen Iverson has talked about the work ethic of Kobe Bryant. Even opponents like Kevin Durant and teammates like Caron Butler have talked about how his dedication to the game has motivated them to get better. It’s tough for many to be that dedicated to their craft, but Kobe Bryant did it.

Similarly, Ray-Ray is also influenced heavily by Kobe. He hopes to be just like Kobe. He wants to not be afraid of the moment and play at his best. Even years after his unfortunate demise, Kobe Bryant is still remembered by everyone for his work ethic and the impact that he has had on people.


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What do you think about the influence of Kobe Bryant? Let us know in the comments!


Written by:

Rijin Varghese


One take at a time

Rijin is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for over a decade. He likes to learn about the nuances of sports, understand every player's contribution to a team, and also learn the logic behind player signings and team building.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph