- Kobe Bryant was a legend of the NBA and the LA Lakers before his untimely passing in 2020
- The Undertaker drew inspiration from the late great Bryant and his mindset toward professional sport
- Mark Calaway is a huge basketball fan and even played the sport before he got into wrestling
The Undertaker is undoubtedly one of the most popular wrestlers, and also the greatest.
The Phenom has inspired many wrestlers and non-wrestlers over the years, but who inspires The Deadman?
Mark Calaway, the man who many know as Taker, recently explained that he drew a lot of inspiration from former NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant. Bryant tragically passed away in 2020.
As noted by Wrestling Inc, The Undertaker praised the late superstar for his mindset and approach to sports.
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"I just always loved his mindset man. He was a grinder. I always tell people 'never be content, never be satisfied,' and he was never satisfied with anything that he did. I just loved it."
Calaway explained that in Bryant he saw someone who embodied what a professional athlete should be.
"He was just a dog man, I appreciate that in people. People that won't accept defeat and when you do get a setback, to grow from it and come back strong and I always felt that from him."
The Undertaker played college basketball?
While many would be surprised that the legendary Undertaker drew inspiration from Bryant, it's easier to understand once you know that Calaway played basketball before making his way to the WWE.
SportsKeeda reported that The Deadman played college basketball for Texas Wesleyan. He also turned down an offer to play in Europe, instead choosing to go into wrestling where he became one of the greatest entertainers the sport has ever seen.
Taker debuted in 1990 and went on to have an incredibly impressive career. His WrestleMania streak of 25 and 2 is still talked about to this day.
When Kobe met Kylian
NBA legend Kobe Bryant wasn't just great at basketball, he had some serious football skills as well.
As previously reported by Sports Brief, the LA Lakers superstar once showed off those skills alongside an 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe.
Bryant met the young French attacker while visiting Paris Saint-Germain’s training complex in 2017.