Feb 9, 2012, 10:24 AM EDT
We’ve got a mutual admiration society going.
Now Kobe turns around and said that he always looked up to Larry Bird. Their games are very different — well, maybe not so much any more now that Kobe is settling for a lot of long-two point jumpers — but it is Bird’s drive that Kobe always admired.
Here is what Kobe said about Bird’s compliment, via A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com.
“It means the world to me, because I looked up to him and his work ethic,” Bryant said when told of Bird’s comments. “I always viewed him as being a staple of a blue-collar player that’s been blessed with a great deal of talent. His determination, his motivation … I remember some of the quotes I heard from (Comcast SportsNet analyst and NBA Hall of Famer) Tommy Heinsohn describing Larry Bird, that was very moving to me when I was a kid. I said, ‘if I can be that way, I feel I can be pretty good.’ So I kind of followed his lead in that regard. To hear him have that kind of praise for me, means a lot.”
This in no way means Kobe likes the Boston Celtics. The Lakers face the Celtics in the Garden Thursday night.
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