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Carmelo Anthony had the chance to play many games against the late Kobe Bryant. The Blazers’ veteran reflected on the ‘Mamba Mentality’ and on what he learned playing against and with the Lakers’ legend.

(via Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian):

“I was like, damn, I’m on the court with Kobe. Like, OK, let’s get after it. I was just young and that was my mentality,” Anthony remembered from his first game against Bryant.

Anthony, then, recalled his time with him in Team USA. According to the veteran superstar, that was the time he and Bryant came close and understand each other’s mentality completely.

“He always talked trash,” Anthony pointed out. “He used to always say, ‘don’t wake me up.’ It was things like that…If he missed a couple shots, ‘don’t wake me up.’ That’s what he used to tell me.”

“I think the most important thing about Kobe for me was his approach, his mentality. His game spoke for itself,” Anthony continued.

“It’s a mindset, and I think that’s what I took from him. How to change your mindset and how to approach it. How to become self-motivated…The approach of the game and figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.”

The legendary Los Angeles Lakers guard, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter accident last year. He will be missed, but always remembered, especially from NBA peers and fans.