On Kobe Day 2017 (August 24th), the Black Mamba handed out challenges to current athletes and pop icons via Instagram and Twitter.
Here are the challenges in order of the time they were tweeted:
Seeing all the commotion as a rising talent in the league, Giannis Antetokounmpo felt a little left out:
To which Kobe replied:
It's very clear that Giannis took Kobe's challenge head-on, rising from 30th (2015-2016) to 14th (2016-2017), and now 5th on the Official NBA League Leaders chart. If next year shows as much improvement as he's shown over the last few years, he just might literally go off the charts. As Giannis' relentless effort on the defensive end of the floor, and his awe-inspiring athleticism on offense continues to impress as the season comes to an end, Kobe paid due respect to the Greek Freak AKA Demi-God:
Kobe has been an inspiration to many people on and off the court, and these motivational callouts provide even more evidence of that fact. Along with high praise from Kobe, Giannis was featured in a 60 Minutes segment that told his story of being born into poverty where he sold glasses, watches, and other goods on the streets of Greece. His perseverance and work ethic carried over to basketball and he was invited to the 2013 NBA Draft where he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th pick of the first round. Giannis has been perfecting his craft and climbing the ladder ever since.
His story is a great example of hard work and effort paying off. No matter what you do in life, as long as you pursue it with passion and a willingness to learn, you will be successful.