Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo called late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant an idol for a whole generation. In the NBA media day ahead of the 2020 All-Star game, the 26-year old spoke about the legacy of Bryant, saying he was like what Michael Jordan was to a generation.
“He was my idol,” Antetokounmpo said. “Not just my idol, the whole generation’s idol. He was our Michael Jordan. He gave back to the game. A lot of people when they’re so great don’t do that. Talent is worthless if you don’t share it & he shared.”
Antetokounmpo has had a good relationship with Bryant. In 2018, he worked on his game along with the Kobe. By the end of the season, Giannis had won the MVP award.
“A guy that mentored me in the last few years of my career, a guy that was always there for me,” Antetokounmpo said of Bryant. “In the regular season, the playoffs, a guy that told me that whenever I need something, I could just reach out to him, and he was literally always there. If I needed something, he would text me back, call me.
“Growing up, he was my idol. He was one of those guys that gave back to the game so much, gave back to the players. A lot of people when they’re so great, they don’t do that.”
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on Lakers’ Kobe Bryant: “He was my idol. Not just my idol, the whole generation’s idol. He was our Michael Jordan. He gave back to the game. A lot of people when they’re so great don’t do that. Talent is worthless if you don’t share it & he shared.” pic.twitter.com/pV7osR8T6B
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 15, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo & others to come out in honour of Kobe Bryant at the NBA All-Star game
The uniforms for Sunday’s all-star game in Chicago on Sunday will honour Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi. LeBron James’ team is set to wear the No. 2 jerseys for the Gigi while team Giannis will sport the No. 24 jerseys as a tribute to Bryant.
Antetokounmpo was one of several all-stars who also spoke Saturday about their memories and the legacy that Bryant left behind.
“Wearing 24 and LeBron wearing number two, it’s a big honour. I wouldn’t want it any other way representing Kobe and Gigi in tomorrow night’s game,” Giannis said.
NBA also announced that the All-Star game MVP award will be permanently named after Kobe Bryant, who won the award for a record four times.