Stephen Curry opens up on Kobe Bryant recognizing his ‘killer instinct’

James Kingsley
3 Min Read

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry recently spoke on the “killer instinct” former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant recognized in him.

“One of the best compliments I ever got, when he recognized that killer instinct behind the smile,” said Curry in an interview with radio host Big Boy. “You know Mamba Mentality…it’s a thing because you could see it on his face. ‘I’m out here to kill every single person in front of me to get to where I wanna go.’ But he acknowledged that same spirit, but he knew that I did it with a smile on my face.”

Curry certainly deserves all the praise in the world as he is the only player to receive a unanimous MVP award, as he did so in the 2015-16 NBA season.

His numbers were otherworldly during that campaign as he averaged a league-leading 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists and league-high 2.1 steals per game. He did this on a mesmerizing 50.4 percent shooting from the field, 45.4 percent from 3 and whopping 90.8 percent from beyond the arc, which led the league as well.

Ironically, the one player who spoiled the 35-year-old’s near perfect season was none other than Lakers superstar LeBron James.

During that season, the Warriors finished with a historic 73-9 record and seemed to be on their way to a second straight title in two seasons against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They nearly fell in the Western Conference Finals as they were trailing three games to one against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but were able to come back due to a herculean effort from running mate Klay Thompson in Game 6.

However, in the next series, they wouldn’t be so lucky. That’s because James and his Cavaliers at the time were in dire straits when they were also trailing 3-1 in the NBA Finals. No team had ever come back from that deficit at the time, but James and company had other plans.

The four-time MVP dropped back-to-back 41-point games in Games 5 and 6 and capped that off with a triple-double in a historic Game 7. Many vaulted him into the stratosphere of greatest of all time with his historic performance.

Since then, Curry has won a few more titles with the help of superstar Kevin Durant in 2017 and 2018. But the point guard was able to shake off a few of his critics with his very first Finals MVP in 2022.

With both the Warriors and Lakers pretty much sticking with their same core rosters from last season, there’s a good chance that they end up meeting again in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

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James is a Los Angeles native who has been a fan of the Lakers since the Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones days. He has been writing and editing for over five years now and is excited to bring his skillset to the Lakers Daily team.