Former DPOY Gary Payton Explains Similarities Between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade

Published 04/22/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
2008––USA’s form left, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd walk off the court during a timeout against China during competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant are two of the best players to play at the shooting guard position. During their time in the NBA, Kobe and D-Wade made fans take notice of their incredible talent. Both players had a similar style, profile, and played in the same position. For many fans, Kobe and D-Wade are the best shooting guards in NBA history after Michael Jordan.

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‘The Glove’ talks about Kobe Bryant – Dwyane Wade comparisons

Former DPOY Gary Payton spoke to NBA insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about playing with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Payton noted that the two players were incredibly similar. Both Kobe and Wade had a great competitive nature that they shared. Furthermore, both were known for making big shots. But the difference between the two players was their defensive effort.

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Payton said, “The competitiveness that they have. I think both of them are very competitive. When they’re both competitive and they’ve got chips on their shoulders, they can do it. Both of them make big shots… You can give them the ball and they do the things that they do. I think Kobe was different because he played defence on both ends of the floor. I think he was a little bit different on the defensive end, they both had dog in them.”

Kobe above Wade for his defense

Payton added that the similarities between the two players – Kobe and Wade – were their competitiveness and athleticism. But the separator for Payton is the fact that Kobe was better defensively. Kobe didn’t shy away from guarding the toughest players on the opposition team, and he did it quite well. Despite this one factor, Payton noted that the two were practically identical and said:

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“I just think that they both are similar to each other in them ways. I think Kobe has a little bit more because of the defensive side, that he went and got after it. He guarded all the great players. So I think that’s where they’re separate. But other than that, the competitiveness that they had and the big shots that they can make, the athletic ability they have, they are both the same.”

CHINA – AUGUST 24: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, all of the U.S., celebrate after winning the gold medal in the men’s basketball event on the final day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. Bryant and his National Basketball Association colleagues defeated Spain 117-108 to reclaim the championship the U.S. lost four years ago in Athens after leading by just two points in the fourth quarter. (Photo by Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Will there ever be a player with a similar profile to Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade? In the current crop of NBA stars, players like Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell have garnered comparisons to them. Furthermore, new rookie Anthony Edwards has shown remarkable similarity to Dwyane Wade from the start. In fact, Wade has said that he believes Edwards can be better than him.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1181 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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