Kobe Bryant's effect on the NBA's current era was obvious while watching his 20th and final season this year. From city to city, player after player waxed poetic about how Bryant was one of their idols growing up or revealed what aspects of his game they tried to bring to their own.
"All I was thinking at the end of the game was Mamba Mentality," Irving told the assembled media following the win. Irving was solid in the game, and while he missed two of his final three shots, the one he made was a clutch pull-up three-pointer over Stephen Curry with less than a minute that gave the Cavaliers a 92-89 lead they would never relinquish. Watch the jumper, and try not to see a little bit of Bryant in it:
No word on if Irving yelled "Mamba Out" after that, but it's the only way he could have further imitated the man who inspired his shot, short of actually tapping Steve Kerr on the butt as he ran back:
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