There aren't many people who knew the late Kobe Bryant as well as Brian Shaw.
The longtime NBAer played alongside the Los Angeles Lakers legend for four seasons. Shaw, who retired as a player in 2003, also coached Bryant.
Earlier this year, Shaw was named head coach of the G League Ignite, which consists of some of the best high school prospects worldwide, including the top-ranked 2020 recruit Jalen Green.
Some have compared the potential 2021 No. 1 overall pick to Bryant. While Shaw refuses to liken anybody to the five-time NBA champ, he says Green and Bryant share one distinct characteristic.
"The only comparison that I would make from my little time working with him is his want to be great," Shaw told reporters, including theScore, during Thursday's G League Ignite media availability. "There are times when I have to protect him from himself because he just wants to keep on working. And I try to explain to him that you have to let your body recover and recuperate. You can't just keep pounding and beating it down every day."
Shaw also raved about Green's athleticism, footwork, and willingness to be coached. He has no doubt the 6-foot-5 guard can succeed at the next level.
Before he reaches that stage, Shaw is focusing on the basics with Green and his Ignite teammates as he believes that will lead to a lengthy and successful NBA career.
"What separated Michael Jordan and Kobe - and I put those two in a category by themselves - from every other great player that was at their position ... was Kobe and Michael had the fundamentals on top of the athleticism, the will, and the basketball IQ," Shaw said.
"That's what I'm trying to build with (Green) because he has all the other physical tools. ... In AAU, they run up and down the court a lot. There's not a whole lot of practice. There's not a whole lot of fundamentals being taught. So we're treating everybody here with beginner minds and teaching them from A to Z."