After Golden State Warriors famously blew a 3-1 lead to lose the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Draymond Green took much of the blame.
Following a number of kicking incidents throughout the playoffs, Green incurred a one-game suspension for game five of that series after an altercation with LeBron James.
His absence was seen as a major reason why the Cavs were able to win at Oracle Arena and go on to complete a remarkable comeback to win their first title in franchise history.
Green also took responsibility for the collapse and suffered from a lot of negative press due to his inability to keep his temperament in check.
In the media, the power forward was being portrayed as a dirty player as he'd been involved in kicking opponents on multiple occasions.
Many were undecided if his actions were intentional or inadvertent and the Dubs star was struggling to deal with this level of scrutiny and decided to reach out to a mentor for advice.
The 27-year-old contacted NBA legend and one of the game's fiercest competitors Kobe Bryant.
"I was going through all that s--- with the media and with the kicks and I was f------ up," Green told GQ.com's Clay Skipper. "So I called Kobe, and said, '(This) s---s killing me, because these people are painting me to be something that I’m not, wondering, would I kick anybody on purpose? I wouldn’t kick anybody on purpose. It’s f----- up.'"
Green revealed one particular line he received from Kobe which resonated with him.
"As long as you wait for them to understand you, you’re f-----," Bryant told him.
"It was the best s--- I ever heard," Green said. "Because it gave me an understanding of why people don’t understand me. I’m so crazy competitive. I put my competitiveness up there with anyone. How could someone understand that? It’s a different level.”
That wasn't the first time that the Defensive Player of the Year contacted the Los Angeles Lakers legend during that postseason.
With the Dubs down 3-1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, the two-time All-Star received some strong advice from the 'Black Mamba'.
"If making history was easy, why bother?" Bryant texted Green.
The Warriors ended up overcoming the Thunder and meeting the Cavs in the finals.
Draymond and his teammates were able to put their demons to rest last season as they avenged their loss to the Cavaliers from the previous campaign with a dominant 4-1 finals win to capture their second championship in three years.
It will take something special to stop them from lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy again in June.