Kobe Bryant might have ridden off into the sunset following a glorious 20-year NBA career, but he's not the kind of guy who will just fade into the background.
After all, the Black Mamba has a lot to give. It emerged last week that Bryant had offered to mentor Shaquille O'Neal's 16-year-old son, Shareef, and now Bryant is taking Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green under his wing.
Kobe is more likely to relate to Green's persona rather than his on-court style. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both ahead of Green in the Warriors go-to offensive queue, and Kobe was always the main man during his time in the purple and gold.
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Another vital part of Kobe's arsenal, though, was his fierce competitiveness and unforgiving nature. Green is undoubtedly the spark in the history-making Warriors unit and his determination underpins a lot of their success.
Kobe believes that players of that intensity are dying out in the NBA, but Green represents a refreshing throwback who brings out the best in others.
"Draymond is a rare breed in this day and age," Bryant said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's a competitor, and he's not afraid to show he's a competitor. He's not afraid to address certain issues with teammates and with (opponents) that may seem uncomfortable. He's a challenger."
Green's thirst for knowledge is also attractive to Kobe, who himself was a vehement student of the game before entering the NBA. Vino thinks it's an important habit for today's players and the longer Green continues to immerse himself in basketball, the better he will become.
"He has great intuition," Bryant said. "He's studied the game a lot. He's a historian of the game, he asks a lot of questions about old stories and players, and what they would do here, what they would do there. I think he cares about a certain depth of the game, whereas the majority of young players just stay on the surface."
There are many things that make a great basketball player. Curry's range from deep, Allen Iverson's handles and Dirk Nowitzki's one-legged fadeaway are all hallmarks of great players, but Bryant believes that Green has many of the intangibles that makes the players around him better.
As someone who was never afraid to ruffle a few feathers, Kobe believes Green's ability to confront his peers is part of what makes the Warriors the team they are.
"You have to have some guys on the team that are hitting those buttons every day in practice," Kobe said. "You're creating that tension, you're creating competitive nastiness in practice. You have to have that in order to build up that internal fortitude."