It’s not a secret that DeMar DeRozan mimicked his game to Kobe Bryant’s. Like Kobe, he thrives off the mid-range, loves to hit contested shots, fadeaways, turnarounds, and he has very Kobe-ish moves when he drives to the basket.
That’s why it must have been such an honor to him to draw comparisons to the Black Mamba himself last night, as he channeled his inner Kobe to hit an outstanding mid-range jump shot to help the San Antonio Spurs snap a five-game losing streak.
DeRozan iced the game with the shot, beating the Dallas Mavericks and earning the praise from his teammates. In fact, Dejounte Murray said that they’ll always have a lot of confidence in a guy like him because he knows how much he works into his game:
“If they double, we want him to take it. Kobe would have taken it with five guys on him – take that s**t,” Murray said after the game. “I mean, I got a lot of confidence that’s somebody that you know when we first got here and we built a relationship. I would go to the gym at night and see him practicing those shots. It’s crazy you know just to see him finally you know hit one for us. I’ve been waiting for that moment to just see him do that so you know it’s great you know we believe in him make or miss.”
DeRozan hasn’t shined at San Antonio the same way he did with the Toronto Raptors but he still has a lot left in the tank. He’s about to draw plenty of interest in free agency and some people believe that he’s unlikely to return to the Spurs.
So, even if he’ll never be exactly like Kobe – which is normal because no one will – these shades of his game still make him one of the most unguardable players inside the paint.