The Las Vegas Raiders have made the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2016 lead by their quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders shot caller has seemingly resonated with same sentiments previously shared by the late NBA Legend Kobe Bryant during the 2009 NBA Finals.
The Raiders won an epic showdown against the LA Chargers for the final playoff spot in the AFC West. Both teams entered the matchup with a 9-7 record and the Raiders won the clash 35-32 in overtime to push them to 10-7 and the second seed in the standings.
As reported by staff writer Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Carr's spoke of his emotions after the win, simply stating:
"Like my favorite player Kobe said, 'Job's not done'."
Derek Carr regards Kobe Bryant as his favorite basketball player and for good reason. During the 2009 NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic, the Lakers won Game 2 of a best-of-seven series to take a commanding 2-0 lead over Dwight Howard and co.
After the win, Bryant gave his postgame interview with a stone-cold demeanor. This seemed to come as a shock to one reporter who suggested that he was at least expecting a smile from the Lakers player. The reporter probed Bryant:
"Still waiting for a big smile out of you. You're up 2-0. What's the story? Are you not happy or only half happy?"
To which Bryant infamously responded by posing a question back to the reporter
"What's there to be happy about? Job's not finished. Job finished? I don't think so."
A classic example of Bryant's Mamba Mentality. The 2008 MVP wasn't interested in celebrating a Game 2 victory in a best-of-seven series. He was motivated to win the whole thing and just as he predicted, the Magic won Game 3. However, the LA Lakers won the next two games and closed out the 2009 Finals in five games.
NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant averaged 32.4 points per game in the 2009
Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers returned to the NBA Finals stage for the second straight year. The Lakers lost the 2008 NBA Finals in Game 6 to the Celtics, marking Kobe's second consecutive Finals loss.
Hence, in 2009, Bryant had extra motivation to win this series. He started off the Finals with a 40-point game and then went on to never register a points total below 29, in a single game of that series.
As reported by Serena Winters, Kobe recalled his 2009 championship season, saying:
"That '08-09 team, I think that's the most fun I've ever had playing on a team. We hung out all day...Just a fun season"
Bryant will always be remembered as one of the fiercest competitors in the history of sports. He was an inspiration to several athletes and his work ethic and his famous "Mamba Mentality" resonates with many athletes and fans around the world.