Kobe Bryant is a very quotable person. Throughout his legendary NBA career and even now in retirement, he’s consistently delivered words that make journalists who despise canned statements happy. And it was no different tonight at the Nike “Makers of the Game” experience in Los Angeles for NBA All-Star Weekend.
Asking the basketball icon the questions during the event was former NBA star and current ESPN analyst and podcast host, Jalen Rose.
For the non-NBA fan, or the avid basketball watcher who wants to reminisce, here’s a history lesson involving Bryant and Rose: The Lakers star scored a career-high 81 points on 28-of-46 shooting against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. Who was guarding him? Rose.
Check out the best Bryant quotes during Nike’s “Makers of the Game” experience during 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend in LA.
“I was tired as heck, man. When you know it’s the last game, you know you have to literally leave it all out there.” — Bryant on the final game of his career, scoring 60 points at the Staples Center in LA on April 13, 2016.
“In all fairness though, you really did not guard me that game. You get a bad rap for that, but you may have defended me, like, twice.” — Bryant to Rose on scoring 81 points on the Raptors in 2006.
“Everybody has their own way of measuring things. But my mentality is I never waste my time arguing things that I definitively cannot win. I don’t waste my time even debating that stuff.” — Bryant on if he’s a better player than current NBA star LeBron James.
“When I watched my [Philadelphia] Eagles win [Super Bowl LII], I had an out-of-body experience as a fan. It’s good to have that feeling because a lot of my friends call me and say, ‘That’s how you made us react when we were at home.'” — Bryant on being a sports fan, not the star of the game.
“I jumped up and down and I was happy I didn’t pull anything.” — Bryant on how he celebrated the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl win.
“If you don’t truly love it, you won’t get up that day and work. You’ll roll back into bed and go to sleep. You have to find something you truly love. If you find that thing, you don’t have to convince yourself to work hard, you just do it because you’d rather be there than any place else. I’ve been fortunate enough to find that in basketball, and I’ve been fortunate to find that in storytelling and writing and directing and producing.” — Bryant on his animated short film, “Dear Basketball.”