‘Kobe Bryant Said at an Interview…’: Former Teammate Reveals What Makes Russell Westbrook Special

Published 04/28/2021, 8:15 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant might have inspired many players in the many, but his most successful student of the game was probably Russell Westbrook. The 2017 MVP embodies what Kobe stood for in the league.

With his never-give-up attitude and the intensity he brings to the floor, Russ truly is a student of the Mamba mentality. This has been evident in his recent performances with the Washington Wizards.

Mar 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After having a slow start to the regular season with the Wizards, Russ has stepped into a different level altogether. Despite missing Bradley Beal in multiple games, Westbrook has led the Wizards to a spot in the play-in tournaments.

Kendrick Perkins opens up about Kobe Bryant praising Westbrook

This is not the first time Russ is proving his doubters wrong. From the very start of his career with the OKC Thunder, Brodie has had multiple instances where he has stood out from the rest with his passion and commitment to the game.

In a recent appearance at the Jump, former teammate Kendrick Perkins spoke about Westbrook. Perkins claimed that the 32-year-old was one of the few players that Kobe Bryant blessed with the Mamba Mentality.

Perkins said, “When I was with the Oklahoma City Thunder playing with Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant said at an interview after we beat him in the playoff game that Russell Westbrook is a guy that he loved, and he blessed him with the mamba mentality. Kobe Bryant didn’t bless a lot of people with the mamba mentality and it’s only a few people that I’ve seen since my playing career and post-playing career that I’ve witnessed that not that plays every possession, not every minute, every second every possession, that’s what Russell Westbrook do.”

From claiming that Westbrook was indeed the most athletic player ever to even saying that he saw his style of play in Russ, ‘Mamba‘ recognized how special a talent Brodie was really going to be.


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Westbrook has certainly made one thing pretty clear this season; you can never count him out. Despite being in the twilight of his career, Westbrook is out there proving his doubters wrong. He might get too much flak for his lack of championships, but there is no doubting that Westbrook indeed is one of the best guards in the game.


Aditya Mohapatra

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Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.