Since reaching the NBA, Ja Morant has shown that he has the quality and drive to become a superstar in the league. Each year, the leader of the Memphis Grizzlies enhances his level, becoming one of the future faces of the association and one of the top players in the league this year.
The energy he brings to the game is unrivaled, and Ja is already comparing legends with his performances. However, his style of play is not the only thing to be commended to Ja. His attitude on the court is entertaining, and recently, Shaq compared him to his former teammate, the late great Kobe Bryant.
Shaquille O’Neal uttered those words of Morant on a recent episode of his “The Big Podcast With Shaq.”
O’Neal discussed Morant’s similarities with former teammate Kobe Bryant. Shaq explained that Kobe had an uncompromising attitude when he got to the league, ready to do something on the court, no matter who was standing in his way.
“I wasn’t talking about the player. I was talking about the attitude. When Kobe came in at 19, he knew he was the s**t; he just knew it. The coach will be like, ‘don’t do that play,’ Kobe would be like, ‘nope I’m doing it. ‘ Like this kid is really freaking good and he knows it,” said O’Neal.
“And there’s not a lot of people you can say that about in this league as a young player. That’s what I mean by that. He knows it, he wasn’t highly drafted, wasn’t highly talked about, made a name for himself late in the NCAA, but he knows he’s good. He knows that’s his team and he’s playing really well. That’s what I meant by that.”
Over the weekend, replied to O’Neal, stating he’s not Kobe Bryant. There’s only one.
“ I appreciate the love from OG, but I ain’t Bean,” said Morant. “There will never be another Kobe.”
We are also two days away from Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his daughter GiGi, who passed away in a helicopter accident two years ago. Bryant and his basketball team were headed to the Sports Academy formerly known as The Mamba Sports Academy to play Jason Terry’s town when the pilot lost his sense of direction in the fog.
Morant also shared his favorite moment from Bryant’s career as well. Sharing that it was when Bryant tore his rotator cuff in 2015 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Bryant went back in the game and started shooting left-handed.
“It felt fine when I went up, didn’t feel too good when I came down,” Bryant said after the game.
“I’ve played on a torn labrum before,” Bryant said after scoring 14 points in 30 minutes. “I’m not too concerned about it.”
That same year, Bryant told Ahmad Rashad that he played through his rotator cuff injury for several seasons.
“I tore my rotator cuff. The funny thing about it is I’ve been playing with it, I guess, torn for a long time,” Bryant said. “I just never actually got an MRI on it because the strength, even now, the strength in my shoulder is good. It’s fine. I can shoot, but I just keep tearing it more and more and more. So I’ve had this pain for a long time, and it’s just I’ve never actually gotten looked at because the strength was so good.”
Rest In Peace Kobe and all of the rest of the victims in the helicopter accident.