The past month has been a crazy, yet entertaining time frame for fans of the NBA, and it all started when the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to overcome a 3-1 NBA Finals series deficit to win their first NBA championship.
Although LeBron James was the unanimous NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, Kyrie Irving played a pivotal part in the unprecedented comeback in the series, capping it off with the go-ahead three with just under a minute to play. When asked about the shot, Irving stated, “All I was thinking, was ‘Mamba mentality.'”
Irving and Kobe Bryant spent time together on Team USA a few years back and have grown closer ever since. They have become close enough friends that Irving FaceTimed Bryant from the locker room immediately after the Cavs’ thrilling Game 7 victory (via Jeffrey Eisenband of ThePostGame.com).
“I actually FaceTimed Kobe after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Irving says. “Other than seeing my dad and my sister right after we won, FaceTiming him was just a great thing, knowing how he has won five and I just won my first. Then realizing how hard it is just to win one, my respect for him is already high, but it went to another level knowing that he’s got five of them. I’m trying to get a second one.”
No matter how polarizing Bryant was during his playing career, he certainly impacted a number of fellow NBA players. Not to mention the massive amount of fans he accrued over the last 20 years.
Bryant’s style of play was always a debatable topic over the last two decades, but winning five championships obviously garnered him a ton of respect throughout the league. When it comes to seeking advice on winning championships, Irving has a great resource that other players will likely turn to in the future if they can.
For the full feature on Kyrie Irving from ThePostGame.com, click here.