Iman Shumpert Reveals How Kobe Bryant Inspired Him To Live Differently

NBA star Iman Shumpert first made headlines when he was drafted as the 17th overall draft pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (via Sportskeeda). The New York Knicks were lucky enough to snatch up the former Georgia Tech student, and he played for the team until 2015 when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the time, he was devastated by the transition.

"I was never the new kid in school or anything, so this was the closest thing for me to changing schools and going through that," Shumpert told Elite Sports NY. "For me, it would've been cool if [things ended differently with the Knicks]. I was hurt when I got traded, so it would've been cool for me if I had at least gotten to play my last games with them."

Although a little defeated by how things ended, Shumpert made the best out of his new team. In 2016, Shumpert won his first NBA championship with the Cavaliers' historic win. According to the Cavsnation, the Cavs became the first NBA team in history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the finals and win the championship, and Shumpert's defense was vital for Cleveland's victory.

Over the last year, many players have spoken out about the devastating death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. In an intimate interview with VLAD TV, Shumpert recalls what he learned from the legendary Laker (via Youtube).

Kobe Bryant inspired Iman Shumpert to live life to the fullest

NBA shooting guard Iman Shumpert admitted in a candid interview with VLADTV that he didn't fully see the excellence of Kobe Bryant until shortly after his untimely death (via Youtube). "I was a Michael Jordan guy," Shumpert recalls, referring to the longstanding Jordan vs. Bryant debate.

The former Knicks player recalled a time when he faced the NBA icon on the court. He remembers guarding the iconic Laker and even managing to steal the ball from him several times. As the clock approached the fourth quarter, Bryant approached Shumpert, congratulating him on his efforts. Shumpert retold the story to Hot 97's "Ebros in the Morning." "The fourth quarter starts ... Kobe said, 'you had a great game.' He said, 'you had a great game, young fella.' I swear I looked at the clock like, I'm looking like 'there are 12 minutes left, what are you talking about?"

Bryant went forth in the fourth quarter and stunned Shumpert. First-hand, Shumpert witnessed the legend in action, but weeks following his passing, Shumpert learned Bryant's legacy extends far beyond basketball. One of the biggest life lessons the former cavalier learned from Bryant was to live his life to the fullest. "Get everything off your chest," he shared (via Youtube). "Get your books out, get your ideas out, get your dreams ... You never know."