Mavs’ Luka Doncic speaks on playing game after Kobe Bryant’s death
The 20-year-old Dallas Mavericks sensation, who began his basketball journey in Slovenia while looking up to Bryant, opened up about the emotions he felt after their 107-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday.
Luka Doncic also paid respects to the Lakers and NBA icon by donning one of his signature shoes, the “Kobe V Protro” against OKC.
Apart from scribbling the names of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna onto the shoes, Doncic also made sure to honor everyone who lost their lives in the harrowing accident by writing the names of the seven other victims.
The MVP candidate capped off his tribute to Bryant by putting up Kobe-esque numbers against the Thunder, dropping 29 points, 11 rebounds, and five dimes to help improve the Mavs’ record to 27-19.
Doncic and Bryant never shared the court together, as the five-time NBA champion walked away from the game in 2016. Doncic, who was still a teenager at the time, was playing in the Euroleague for Real Madrid.
Bryant, however, was still able to marvel at Doncic’s supreme talent when he and Gianna attended a Mavs-Lakers game last month.
Kobe may be gone, but his spirit and the legacy he left behind still lives on through brilliant players like Doncic, who seems to have already embraced the Mamba mentality at a young age.