In the wake of the tragic death of NBA star Kobe Bryant, his legacy and influence have sparked conversations around the world. Numerous players have admitted to modelling their game on the icon, and it seems Kyle Lowry is like Kobe in one area in particular. At least, that's according to a backroom staff member who has worked with both players.
Alex McKechnie is the Toronto Raptors' Vice President of Player Health and Performance, having joined the franchise after leaving the Lakers in 2011.
Prior to arriving in the 6ix, the veteran physio spent 11 years with Bryant's LA team, winning five championship rings and helping Kobe get the most out of his body. If there's anyone who knows the legend, it's McKechnie.
And the Scot, who won his sixth ring when the Raps triumphed last summer, has found that the player who reminds him most of the Black Mamba is Raps cornerstone Lowry.
He revealed that the Philadelphia native reminds him uncannily of Bryant because of his exceptional work ethic.
"Kyle Lowry reminds me a lot of Kobe Bryant,” McKechnie told TSN's Josh Lewenberg.
"(He) comes in in the morning, works hard, works at so many different things, recognizes (what he needs to work on). Just very similar, very similar."
Some fans could be forgiven for finding this comparison unexpected, due to the striking differences in the players' physique and on-court style.
There were plenty of differences between Lowry and Bryant, including their respective physiques and playing styles. But Kyle's workhorse mentality will likely come as no surprise to devoted Raptors fans.
McKechnie went into more detail on why Bryant's attitude contributed so much to his success.
"He’d get out there and work his left hand because it had to be as good as his right," he added, per Sportsnet.
"That was the pursuit of excellence … it was quite interesting to see and that in itself really personifies Kobe. It was just a drive for excellence every single day and it was pretty special to be around that on a daily basis.”
Lowry appears to have the same qualities in abundance. Lewenberg writes that he's "the first player in the gym every morning and at the arena before games."
Just this week, Lowry beat the Raptors' all-time record for most assists.
And ex-Raptor Vince Carter, whose Atlanta Hawks were beaten by Lowry and Co. that day, said after the game he's certain Kyle should be considered the GOAT of Toronto basketball.
As for Lowry's own "Mamba mentality?" Perhaps the last word should go to his coach, Nick Nurse.
"I am constantly amazed at the plays this guy makes..." Nurse said, per TSN. "I can't believe how many times he rides a 6-10, 250(-pound) guy out of bounds to grab a rebound, at his size. That's going on five times a game, it's unbelievable.
"And the charges, the hustle plays, and then the game-winning plays. And I appreciate it. We see it a lot, but it should be talked about. I think that's his greatness."