Kobe Bryant once said, “I feel like killing everybody every time I go to the arena.”
Now, that particular quote was in reference to his being unable to play through an injury. But it can also apply to how he feels about opponents and their fans.
His weapon of choice for basketball assassination? The dagger.
There’s no shortage of Kobe Bryant daggers.
There are so many, in fact, that YouTube channel Kobe Can compiled 29 Kobe Bryant daggers in one video—one at the home court of each non-Los Angeles Lakers team in the NBA.
“I don’t give a [expletive] what you say,” the now-retired Lakers legend said in 2012 of his confidence late in games. “If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, ‘Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations.’ Well, [expletive] you.
“Because I don’t play for your [expletive] approval. I play for my own love and enjoyment of the game. And to win. That’s what I play for. Most of the time, when guys feel the pressure, they’re worried about what people might say about them. I don’t have that fear, and it enables me to forget bad plays and to take shots and play my game.”
Though he’s now out of the league, Bryant has passed his late-game focus on to the next generation of NBA stars.
“[Kobe] told me this story about how a lion seeks food, whatever he’s gonna kill and eat,” Isaiah Thomas revealed two seasons ago. “And you know how many bugs are on the lion’s eyes and gnats on his body? He’s so locked in on that zebra that he doesn’t get distracted by anything else. He said if you get distracted by little things, then you’re not as locked in as you think you are. He said for me to be a lion, and that’s gonna stick with me the rest of my life.”