Kobe Bryant knew Stephan Curry was going to be a serious problem since the early days of his career.
Kobe Bryant had one of the most respected voices in NBA history. When Kobe talked everybody else listened.
The Mamba was one of those guys who was always revered more by his peers than he was by the fans and media. Most of today’s players look up to him as an inspiration and we all know why.
During his time as an NBA player, Bryant seldom had words of praise for opposing players. But when he did, he made sure the guy he was talking about was worth it. Talking about Curry’s game in an interview before Steph won his first MVP and championships, Kobe said,
“I see a calmness about him. I think that’s something a lot of players don’t understand. The fans, it’s really hard for the fans to understand what I’m saying. Most players don’t get it.”
“But there’s a serious calmness about him which is extremely deadly. He’s not up, he’s not down. He’s not contemplating what’s just happened before or worrying about what’s to come next – he’s just there.”
“And when a player has the skills and has trained himself to have the skills to be able to shoot, dribble, left, right, etc. And then you mix that with this calmness and poise, then you have a serious, serious problem on your hands. When I watch him play, that’s what I see.”
Players always wear praise coming from Kobe as a badge of honor and Steph is no exception to that.
A lot of people think Steph is a joyful person with no real aggression to his game. Watching Steph smiling on the court can easily sway a casual viewer to make that mistake. He is not out there, cussing people out and trash talking like a Russell Westbrook or a Kevin Garnett.
But Curry has an assassin’s mentality behind that smile. Steph knows this about himself, and when the validation came from The Mamba himself he definitely felt proud.
“Kobe did an interview once, it’s one of my favorite comments about me in terms of how he saw the killer instinct behind the smile. I can have fun and joy, I’m still out there to rip your heart out. It’s just a different way that it looks.” Steph Curry, Hoops Adjacent.
This moment between Kobe and Steph😢
I remember this game like it was yesterday pic.twitter.com/xyS0PgMmZB
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 30, 2020
Steph has proven that Kobe’s comments were cent percent truth. He has been a two time MVP, a three time champion and has been the catalyst of the biggest change in the way the game is played, since the days of Russell and Chamberlain.
Thus, once the Mamba says a player has the killer instinct, there should be no more discussion about it.