Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Made James Harden Fall In Love With Basketball
James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As Kobe Bryant was coming into his own, on his journey to being one of the greatest basketball players ever with the Los Angeles Lakers, there were a number of young kids in Southern California growing up watching him and getting inspired. One of the best to make it to the league was undoubtedly James Harden.

Harden grew up in Los Angeles and was a star at Artesia High School and Arizona State while Kobe was staking his spot as the measuring stick in the league. And watching Kobe win championships with the Lakers, and put on absolutely unbelievable performances helped push Harden to fulfill his dreams as well.

The L.A. Clippers guard recently spoke on this in an interview with Cyro Asseo de Choch of HoopsHype, saying that there was just one person who made him fall in love with the game of basketball and that was Bryant:

“I mean, there was only one person who made me love, I mean fall in love with the game, and that’s Kobe Bryant. Being from LA and being a Lakers fan watching him grow up and win several championships and his passion and love and what he did for the game of basketball, I think the world, you know, feels the same way, but that’s why I started playing basketball. The skill set and things that I’ve learned, I kind of picked up on my own, but as far as falling in love with the game, it’s definitely been Kobe.”

Harden would continue on, adding that Kobe did so much for the area in general and that the Lakers legend simply affected him differently:

“Yeah, I just grew up watching him and what he did for the city of LA basketball in general. You know, I mean it’s just for me; it’s hit home, and yeah, definitely Kobe.”

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Bryant had on the area and so many young players who would grow up to be NBA stars. Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, and many others grew up watching him dominate with the Lakers just like Harden did.

Kobe was truly a generational talent and one of the greatest to ever play the game and his legacy lives on through Harden and many others who were inspired by everything he did.

Kyrie Irving misses Lakers legend Kobe Bryant ‘every single day’

While many grew up watching Kobe Bryant, the one player who was arguably closest to him was Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving. He was a true mentor to Irving both on and off the court and the Mavericks star still thinks about him daily.

Irving said that he misses Kobe ‘every single day’ and opening up about the things that the Lakers legend pushed him to do. Irving added that Bryant knew what his powers were and that his lessons transcended the game of basketball.

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