Yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics.
The championship was the fifth and final one of Kobe's career and the last time the Lakers have won it all. While LA had won the NBA title in 2009 as well, the seeds for the 2010 championship were planted two years earlier.
In 2008, the Celtics got the better of the Lakers, winning the NBA championship in seven games. The loss left Bryant feeling angry and motivated for payback. At the 2008 Olympics that summer, WNBA superstar Sue Bird saw firsthand just how strong Kobe's competitive fire was.
In April, Bird did an interview with ESPN's Chiney Ogwumike, during which she shared a story about Bryant from those Olympic games. It involved him cutting out a picture from a newspaper showing Celtics star Paul Pierce celebrating. Bryant put the photo in his pocket and said it was "motivation."
"We were all like 'Okay, it never stops with him,'" Bird explained.
The full interview with Bird can be found below. Her story about Kobe begins around the 18-minute mark.
Of course, Bryant not only helped the Lakers win the 2010 NBA Finals; he was named Finals MVP in the process.
Like his idol Michael Jordan, Kobe was never shy about using perceived slights as fuel for his competitive fire.