NBA legend Kobe Bryant said he thinks some of the WNBA's brightest stars could play in the NBA. In an interview with CNN, the Black Mamba said there are current WNBA players who "could most certainly keep up" in the NBA. Bryant cited the Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi, four-time WNBA champion Maya Moore, and reigning league MVP Elena Delle Donne as women who could make their marks in the men's game. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Kobe Bryant has long been an outspoken supporter of the WNBA, but he doubled down on his belief in the players' abilities Wednesday when he said some stars "could most certainly keep up" in the NBA. In speaking with CNN about how his daughter, Gianna, has rekindled his interest in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers legend said that he thinks there are a couple of WNBA players "that could play in the NBA right now, honestly." "There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that can do it," Bryant said. Then Bryant named names. "Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne," he said. "There's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them."
Kobe Bryant says there’s WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! pic.twitter.com/4jdCZ282j9 — Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020
Gianna Bryant — Kobe's 13-year-old daughter — has made headlines recently for showcasing her own skills on the court. And while she's still a bit young to decide if she'll play in college and where she'll go, the Black Mamba revealed that she's "hellbent on UConn" after Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller tried to convince him to send her to UCLA. If Bryant's talent is genetic, as it very well appears based on some of Gianna's highlight reels, that news is likely music to Geno Auriemma's ears.
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UConn Huskies pay tribute to the late Gigi Bryant during an emotional matchup against the US Women's National Team
NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, died in a helicopter crash...NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Sunday. Gigi, dubbed "Mambacita," shared her father's love for the game and intended to one day follow in his footsteps by playing professional basketball in the WNBA. According to the Black Mamba himself, Gigi was "hellbent" on playing college ball for Geno Auriemma's UConn Huskies. Prior to their highly-anticipated Monday-night matchup against the US Women's National Team, the Huskies honored the young Bryant with a No. 2 jersey and floral arrangement perched on the UConn bench. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, died in a helicopter crash along with seven others in Calabasas, California, Sunday. Dubbed "Mambacita" after her father's nickname "Black Mamba," Gigi spent much of her childhood watching her father dominate the NBA and aspired to follow in his footsteps. She wanted to play in the WNBA someday, but she was "hellbent" on playing college ball for Geno Auriemma's UConn Huskies first, according to her dad. Just one day after the Bryants' fatal accident, the Huskies hosted the US Women's National Team for a scrimmage as part of its pre-Olympics tour. And prior to tipoff, UConn honored Gigi with by draping a No. 2 jersey — the number she wore with her AAU team — over the back of its bench and placing a bouquet of flowers on the seat. Mambacita is forever a Husky 💙 pic.twitter.com/3wdAbdK0Ye — UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) January 27, 2020 It was an emotional night for many of the players and staff on hand. Kobe was an outspoken supporter of the women's game and the WNBA and had a personal relationship with many of the stars who laced up for Team USA. Diana Taurasi — the all-time WNBA leading scorer whom Bryant regularly called the greatest of all time and dubbed the "White Mamba" — broke down in front of the camera's while trying to reflect on the Black Mamba's legacy. "I don't know if I can do this," Taurasi began while holding back tears. "He meant so much to a city. That fighting spirit that he had, I think everyone had that in them and he found a way to make it okay for everyone to be that way." "I was a huge fan growing up," the Los Angeles native added. "Still am." White Mamba remembers Black Mamba. ♥️📽️: @ESPN pic.twitter.com/HMe7NNgiz1 — Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) January 28, 2020 After the game, Team USA forward Nneka Ogwumike said that she hoped both teams did the Bryants proud with their performance. "I would just hope that we did exactly what he would want us to do," she told ESPN. "Exactly what Gigi would want to watch." After trailing for stretches of the game, Team USA pulled away from the Huskies for the 79-64 victory. Read more: Photos of Kobe and Gigi Bryant show how the father-daughter duo shared a deep love for the game of basketball Kobe Bryant started using helicopters as a player as a way to maintain his body and spend more time with his family Time will honor the late Kobe Bryant with a cover featuring his final bow Remembering the highlights of Kobe Bryant's illustrious career after his tragic death Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know
NBA icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The Los...NBA icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The Los Angeles Lakers legend was just 41 years old. As the sports world mourns the tremendous loss, Madison Square Garden — otherwise known as the Mecca of Basketball — honored the Black Mamba with purple and gold lights and a pre-game ceremony. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. NBA icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The Los Angeles Lakers legend was just 41 years old. Across the globe, the sports world is mourning the sudden and tragic loss — and the Mecca of Basketball is no exception. New York's Madison Square Garden honored the late Black Mamba with purple and gold exterior lights. The world's most famous arena also hosted a ceremony prior to tip-off of Sunday night's game between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Read more: Remembering the highlights of Kobe Bryant's illustrious career after his tragic death Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant, Kobe Bryant's daughter, also died in the tragic helicopter accident that killed her father The sports world is reacting to the sudden and tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant says there are WNBA stars who 'could most certainly keep up' in the NBA Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know