Khris Middleton Reveals Why Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant is His Favorite Hooper

Published 07/07/2021, 9:21 PM EDT
Jul 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) dribbles the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the third quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


South Carolina-born Khris Middleton was a standout performer for Milwaukee Bucks en route to the NBA Finals. The former Detroit Pistons man dropped 32 points with 7 assists and 4 rebounds as the Bucks defeated Atlanta Hawks by a 4-2 margin in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Middleton has really gone on to establish himself as one of the top small forward/shooting guards in the NBA in recent years. He was voted to the NBA All-Star Game in 2019 and 2020. Now, he has a chance to get his name immortalized in record books as the Bucks take on Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

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Along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holiday, Middleton has been a vital cog for the Bucks since joining in 2013. Following a stunning season in 2018-19, Khris signed a five-year, $178 million contract extension with Milwaukee.

And now he can win his first-ever NBA title and lead the Bucks to a memorable win. But who is his inspiration on the basketball court and what drives Middleton to keep pushing his limits? Read further to find out.

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Here’s why Khris Middleton will always look up to Kobe Bryant

Like most millennial basketball players, Khris Middleton hails later Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as one of his role models. The death of the former USA basketball star came as a shock to the entire NBA fraternity. But Middleton continues to draw inspiration from the ‘Black Mamba’ who lives on in the minds and hearts of basketball fans across the globe.

“Kobe was one of my favorite players—if not my favorite player—growing up, besides (Michael) Jordan. I took a lot from his game. To go out there and play and put on that type of performance, I definitely can dedicate that game to him as a thank you for what he did for the game,” Middleton said in the post-game interview after their Eastern Conference title triumph in July.

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Apart from Giannis, the Bucks will also rely on Middleton to come up with clutch plays in the ongoing NBA Finals. Khris dropped 29 points with 4 assists and 7 rebounds in the 118-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the finals.

He will look to build on that performance and continue his hot playoff form in the coming week. It’s make or break time for the Bucks, can their superstar roster live up to expectations? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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Daniel Arambur

1681 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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