If you were asked to explain what made Kobe Bryant so great, beyond just pointing to his basketball talent, you would probably say things like his tenacity, work ethic, and competitiveness that bordered on insanity (aka, Mamba Mentality).
Kobe was also fiercely loyal to those he liked, but the moment someone crossed him that bridge was burned. Bryant’s ultra-competitive nature, coupled with an apparent disregard for how others viewed him, made him unique and also helped mold him into one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.
Most every superstar in the league is a crazed competitor. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and most any elite player has that trait, but not everyone is able to brush off criticism and quickly sever ties with the past (as we’ve seen recently with Durant) the way Kobe did. That trait is rare and being a surly superstar isn’t the norm in the modern NBA.