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Kobe Bryant is named NBA player of the decade

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The Sporting News named Lakers guard Kobe Bryant the NBA player of the decade Thursday.

The best part of the story on The Sporting News' website is what Shaquille O'Neal says about Bryant:

The thing about Kobe is that, over the course of my career, I have never played with anyone who was as fierce as he is. By fierce I mean just having that extra killer instinct that you know when the game is on the line he is not going to shy away from the big shot, he is not going to make excuses. If we would go into the fourth quarter, playoffs or just some game in the season and we were within a little bit of the other team, Kobe was not going to shy away from the challenge of getting the win. He was going to take the shots.

Bryant's memory of the decade:

This year meant a lot. We won a championship. It was satisfying, very satisfying, because we put in a lot of time and effort to fix things and get better. It's a great memory. I feel that we just had such a great team, such a fun team, from our chemistry to the way we executed. We went through some years and years of frustration to get to that point.

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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