Having coached or played with a handful of current and future Hall of Famers, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue doesn't dole out praise easily.
"(Irving) talks to Kobe a lot," Lue told Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. "Offensively, he has the same mentality as Kobe. Offensively, like Kobe, he doesn't have any weaknesses.
"He can go left, he can go right. Shoot pull-ups going right and left. Shoot behind the screen on threes. Catch and shoot. Post up. He has no offensive weaknesses. It is a comparison."
Lue has even invoked the Bryant comparison when motivating Irving. The most famous example was in the Finals, when Irving drilled the eventual championship-winning three in Game 7 to complete a 3-1 comeback over the Golden State Warriors.
After that game, Irving said he wanted to emulate the "Mamba mentality" on his shot. That, apparently, might have come from Lue.
"I told him, 'You want to have a Kobe mentality?'" Lue recalled. '"'Kobe didn't give a f---. He don't care. Whatever the outside is saying, he don't care. Kobe's going to be Kobe.'"