Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers is one of the most well-known names in the basketball game. An icon of the sport and a legend in the truest sense, Kobe Bryant was an inspiration to an entire generation of basketball fans.
Bryant spent his entire career with the Laker franchise. Drafted in 1996 with one of the most talented draft classes of all time, Kobe rose to the top through sheer grit and manic work ethic. With a competitive drive that put him on par with Michael Jordan and a feel for the game that made him a spectacle to watch, Kobe Bryant is consistently in the conversation for the greatest of all time.
Kobe Bryant's illustrious career came to an end in 2016. On the eve of his final game, he gave the fans the performance of a lifetime. Dropping 60 points and a win against the Utah Jazz, Kobe just continued to add chapters to his already great legacy as a player.
As Michael Jordan passed the torch to Kobe, he did the same and shared his mentality with many players in the new era. In this article, we take a look at five players who can emulate the late LA Laker legend, Kobe Bryant.
#1 Devin Booker
Devin Booker is perhaps the closest thing to Kobe Bryant on this list. From the way he plays the game to his competitive mentality, Devin Booker is almost a spitting image of Kobe.
Devin Booker's game features smooth footwork and efficiency in the mid-post. Consistently knowing how to get to his spot on the floor, Booker only uses a few moves that are highly effective. Whether it involves lulling the defender to sleep using jab steps or a quick crossover into a fadeaway jumper, Booker has an elite offensive skill set.
However, what truly makes him the closest thing to Kobe Bryant is his mentality. He shows no signs of complacency with a lead on hand. Devin Booker is an assassin. That drive to take over games and dominate when it's most necessary is what makes him the closest thing to Kobe.
#2 Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz is one of the most exciting players to watch on the court. With his dazzling display of offensive prowess and his ability to perform under clutch situations, Mitchell tends to remind audiences a little of what it felt like to watch Kobe Bryant play.
Although Mitchell has mentioned the Miami Heat legend, Dwyane Wade was his inspiration while growing up, there are certain aspects to his game that mirror that of the Laker legend.
Donovan Mitchell always shows up on the big stage. When the game needs him to be great, he rises to the occasion. During his 2021 NBA Playoff campaign with the Jazz, he seemed virtually unstoppable.
Although the Jazz would lose to the LA Clippers in seven games, Mitchell would put up extraordinary numbers. He averaged 32.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the playoffs.
His duel against Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray in the NBA Bubble was one of the most intense matchups in recent years. Both players were playing at the highest level of their offensive potential. Although Murray would come out on top in game seven, Mitchell showed signs of greatness and much to look forward to.