Jose Mourinho quoted Kobe Bryant during his first press conference at Tottenham

Kobe Bryant’s impact over the sporting world is simply immeasurable.

The 41-year-old American was more than just a basketball legend, he was a man of the people, a beacon of motivation for fans of any sport.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Tributes have since poured in from all four corners of the earth for one of the most important sporting figures in history.

Bryant’s motivational speeches throughout his illustrious career were so poignant that Jose Mourinho actually used one during his first press conference as Tottenham manager.

While laying out his future plans for the north London side, Mourinho referenced Bryant’s ‘professionalism’ and the fact that he was a ‘serial winner’ during his NBA career with the LA Lakers.

The Portuguese then proceeded to read out one of Bryant’s most moving quotes, one that is certainly applicable to Mourinho’s own sporting career.


The Spurs boss told reporters: “I read one quote from Kobe Bryant and if you have to speak about some examples of professionalism and serial winners, Kobe is a great example in his sport and in the world of sport.

“He says: ‘People say that I’m difficult but I’m only difficult for the ones that don’t share my principles.’ So all the colleagues that share his principles they just love him.

“The ones that don’t like him are the ones that don’t share the principles. With me it’s basically the same. For me, everything is about the team, it’s not about selfish people.

“For me, everything is about the group and professionalism and commitment and respect for the club, respect for the mates, respect for the fans.

“I cannot run away from this so if there is somebody that doesn’t share these principles with me, then we have a problem and we will always have a problem because this is the way I think football has to be.

“The players are only big when they make the others better. You cannot be a big player if you just think about yourself.

“That’s another principle. To be a big player, you have to make others big. If I have players that think they are big and they just care about themselves, and forget to help others to be big, we are always going to have a problem.”

Few men are bigger than sport, but Kobe was certainly one of them.

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