Over the years, Kobe Bryant has had a lot of praise for other players, but the Lakers guard paid Derrick Rose the ultimate compliment when asked today how good can the Bulls point guard become.
"I think the sky's the limit for him," Bryant said following the Lakers' shootaround at the United Center. "You see now with the improvement he's made on his jump shot from last year to this year how much his game has really gone to another level.
"I think he's just scratched the surface. I think he's realizing now what a jump shot can do. Hopefully, he'll continue to work on it and he'll become a pure shooter."
What really has impressed Bryant, though, is the killer instinct Rose has shown on the court, especially at the end of the games this season.
"I don't think you can develop that," Bryant said. "I think you either have it or you don't and I think he's had it since he was in high school. That's what separates players of equal ability. It's about the engine you have inside. It certainly gives him an edge."
The perennial All-Star, who is still just 32, was asked if Rose is a worthy player for him to pass the torch to.
"Oh, sure," Bryant said. "[But] I'm not passing [bleep]."
Will Rose have to take it?
"He can certainly try," Bryant said.