On one side you saw one of the game’s all-time greats reaching a new milestone and not letting up. Kobe Bryant is still performing, still putting up impressive numbers at age 36 (coming off two major surgeries) and in passing Michel Jordan on the all-time scoring list he is a testament to getting the most out of your natural ability through hard work and dedication to the craft.
On the other side is promise incarnate. Andrew Wiggins is the guy Minnesota needed to give up Kevin Love. At age 19 he shows incredible athleticism and with that incredible potential.
Kobe looks at Wiggins and it looks familiar, he told Serena Winters of LakersNation.com.
In terms of the promise, yes.
The question is does Wiggins have anywhere near the drive Kobe had? And still has.
Kobe walked in the door with a chip on his shoulder. As a rookie he used to challenge the veterans to games of one-on-one to try to prove his dominance. Kobe studied the game, spent countless hours in the gym, honed his body and his craft. Phil Jackson said Kobe trained harder than Michael Jordan. Kobe was relentless in trying to improve his game.
Does Andrew Wiggins have that in him?
By all accounts he is very coachable and has a good work ethic, but at times during games he can also willingly fade into the background and let others take over (something Kobe does not do, to a fault). He seems like a nice guy, but does he have the edge he needs? Is Wiggins going to put in the off-season work? He has the athleticism, no doubt, but his skill set needs a lot of work still, as does just his game understanding. He’s a bit of a project.
Kobe sees the potential. The question is can Wiggins live up to it?