From spending two years in rehab from very serious injuries where couldn’t even walk Klay Thompson made a long way to returning to being an NBA star. He capped it with winning his fourth NBA title this past season.

The path that the Warriors guard walked earned him the ESPY Comeback Athlete of the Year award. After receiving the award, Thompson remembered the late Kobe Bryant during his speech, telling how he inspired hm to be the athlete he is today.

“The best memories I have growing up down here in Southern California are going to Staples with father,” the four-time NBA champion said on the stage. “I had a privileged life. He was a commentator for the Lakers and I would go to every game early just to watch Kobe do his thing.

“And lastly I would like to thank the Bryant family because, I don’t know if Vanessa’s out there watching but to Vanessa and her three beautiful girls. We think of Kobe and Gigi every day. And I read Mamba Mentality every day during rehab. Those are the best memories of my life watching him play. He inspired me to the athlete I am today.”