For the past week, Kobe Bryant has been sending out “Mamba Challenges” to players, challenging them to complete something to heighten their career. Kobe Bryant is the only motivator anyone should need, so any of these players may complete their challenge, and whether there is a monetary incentive is still to be seen. Maybe he tosses in one of his rings, who knows. Of these challenges, some seemed more likely to come true than others, so in no particular order, here are the Mamba Challenges most likely to actually come to fruition…
1. Dennis Smith Jr. – Win Rookie of the Year
Dennis Smith Jr. easily had the best summer league out of any rookie. In Dallas, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t start a decent amount of games, if not all of them. Apparently, the kid has a 48-inch vertical. Yes. He can jump four feet in the air. That’s not just NBA athleticism. That’s is superhuman athleticism. Also, with a vertical like that, he should compete in the dunk contest. But with the current Mavs roster, Smith needs to learn how to come off picks. Their offense could heavily rely on pick and rolls and pick and pops. He can already create his offense, summer league was evidence of that, now we see if he can create for others.
2. Anthony Davis – Demand a Trade
This has to be the simplest challenge on the list. The Pelicans would get beat by any sixth-grade rec team right now. Sure, they have arguably two of the best big men in the league, but what else? All Anthony needs to do is get off his ass, go to his GM and do what he should’ve done three years ago, skip town.
3. Kyrie Irving – Make the Finals
I am calling it now: the Boston Celtics will represent the Eastern Conference in the 2018 NBA Finals. Lebron dick-riders can come for me. But first, let me explain myself. Looking at the rosters, the Celtics are the better team by far. This is going to be the first time since his first Cleveland run where he hasn’t had help. And to those of you who say, “what about Isaiah?” Well, with rumors that he’ll be out until February, it may be too late for the Cavs to muster up anything to get home court. Don’t even call Kevin Love help. Besides Blake Griffin, he’s the most overrated player in the NBA. The Celtics have the best coach in the NBA, and now with two superstars and a plethora of young talent, there’s no reason for them not to succeed.
Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball minds the NBA has ever seen, so when he makes these challenges he knows what he means. By no means are any of these impossible. Some are definitely harder than others. These are just the easiest. So Anthony, if you’re reading this, give Kobe the win and get off of your ass and get out of NOLA.