Kobe Bryant Saw Himself in Russell Westbrook. Do the Lakers Need That Mamba Mentality Right Now?

Published 07/23/2021, 1:15 PM EDT
14 February 2011: Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) against the Charlotte Bobcats during an NBA basketball game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 14, 2011. (Photo by Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers might have had a fair share of legendary players in their books, but no one comes anywhere close to the legend of the late Kobe Bryant. Be it his tantalizing two-way basketball or his incredible leadership Bryant was a beloved Laker.

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Not only was Kobe a legend on the court, the 2008 MVP was a fan favorite because of his electrifying personality. Be it him speaking about his teammates or speaking highly of his rivals, Bryant and his takes were undoubtedly pretty accurate.

When Kobe Bryant saw himself in Russell Westbrook

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Kobe certainly had his way with words and given his stature, was one of the most respected players in the league. Given the number of years he had put in, Bryant was a basketball savant and certainly identified who might end up excelling in the league.

During the twilight years of his career, Bryant sat for an interview in 2015. When asked which player did, he think had the same fire and aggression as he did on the floor, Kobe had one answer, Russell Westbrook. “Westbrook plays mean. He plays mean like I did. With an aggression, much the way I play.”

In 2015, Westbrook and the Thunder were one of the top teams in the West and their fair share of battles with Kobe. After dominating the stat sheet for two more seasons, Bryant’s call certainly paid off as Westbrook indeed emulated his idol and went on to win a MVP trophy averaging a triple double.

Brodie continued to dominate and is still one of the top guards in the league. While it would have been a treat to see ‘Brodie’ share the floor with Kobe, we might end up seeing Westbrook in the Purple & Gold.

Can Lakers bring in Russell Westbrook?

After crashing out in the first round the playoffs, Lakers are in clear need of re-enforcements for the upcoming season. With many of their role players entering the off-season as free agents, the Lakers have an opportunity to address some of their pressing issues.

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The biggest of them all right now is the point guard spot. Arguably the biggest name they are linked to right now is Russell Westbrook. Westbrook can certainly be an interesting addition to the lineup. With his Kobe like tenacity and athleticism and Mamba mentality,

Mar 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) directs the offense during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Brodie can be an excellent guard alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and will help the Lakers have their own version of big three. According to latest reports, the Lake show indeed had a trade offer for the 1-time MVP.

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While the addition of Brodie seems promising, salary matching might be a big issue for the Lakers. Can Rob Pelinka and the Lakers make this work? Will we see Russell Westbrook donning the Purple & Gold this season? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1184 articles

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.

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