Kobe Bryant to China's Zhao Jiwei: Every struggle interprets our passion for basketball
Li Xiang

As the global ambassador of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Kobe Bryant has been very active during the tournament. On Tuesday, the Lakers legend posted a gif of Chinese point guard Zhao Jiwei accompanied by the encouraging words, "Every struggle interprets our passion for basketball."

"Every setback is an opportunity for growth; Every blow helps with maturity. Every struggle interprets our passion for basketball, and every struggle is to achieve the goals we always pursue," wrote Bryant in a bilingual to Zhao.

Zhao replied a few hours later with, "Do my best, leave no regret."

Many netizens also made nice comments under Bryant's post. Among them were, "You're tagged by Kobe, Zhao, nice," "Good job, Chris Paul of Anshan (Zhao's hometown)" and "Zhao has MambaMentality!"

A screenshot of Kobe Bryant's Weibo post

A screenshot of Kobe Bryant's Weibo post

Zhao was the starting guard in China's first game in Group A against Cote d'Ivoire on August 31. Although he only got two points via free throws, Zhao delivered four assists and two rebounds – like the old saying, "numbers can't tell his greatness."

As the only old-school point guard of this Chinese national team, Zhao is the real backstage hero whose job includes orchestrating offense, connecting teammates and defending against key players in the opponent's franchise. China's victory against Cote d'Ivoire came from Yi Jian who dropped 19 points, eight rebounds and Guo Ailun who put down 17 points and nine assists. But it also came from the unnoticeable work of Zhao.

China will meet Poland, probably the strongest team of the group at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing on Monday night. The result of this game will determine which team will make it to the next round as No. 1 of the group.