Caitlin Clark’s comment after Iowa vs. LSU reminded fans of Kobe Bryant ‘job’s not finished’ press conference

Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes are headed to the Final Four for a second consecutive year,

After coming up short against LSU in last year’s national championship, Clark turned in a performance for the ages to lift her team past LSU in this year’s Elite Eight. In the win, Iowa’s superstar senior finished with 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds but made it clear that she is far from satisfied.

“This [trip to the Final Four] probably feels a little bit better because it’s my senior year,” Clark told ESPN after the win. “To get back here was really hard — this region was loaded with so much talent and, you know, the job’s not finished.”

MORE: Hawkeyes avenge last year’s loss, vanquish Tigers to advance to Final Four

With the last three words of her answer, Clark wants nothing more than the two wins that will deliver a title to Iowa. Her words also evoked memories of Kobe Bryant, who had the same message when he was two wins away from a title in 2009.

“What’s there to be happy about?” a stoic Bryant said in response to a reporter after the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the 2009 NBA Finals. “Job’s not finished. Job finished? I don’t think so.”

With that mentality, Bryant averaged 31.0 points over the next three games to win the third NBA title of his career. Clark will look to turn in similar performances to get two more wins and deliver Iowa its first national title in program history.

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After retiring from the NBA in 2016, Bryant was one of the biggest champions of the women’s game. Bryant’s influence on this generation of women’s stars is undeniable and Clark is one of the stars who falls within the Mamba lineage.

After Iowa’s Big Ten tournament victory, Clark recreated Bryant’s trophy photo from the 2001 NBA Finals.

Clark has almost exclusively played in sneakers from Nike’s signature line this season. During the NCAA Tournament, Clark has worn two different Bruce Lee colorways of the Kobe 5 Protro.

In Iowa’s last three wins, Clark has worn the predominantly yellow pair of Bruce Lee Kobe 5s. Not only do the sneakers match perfectly with the Hawkeyes’ uniforms, but they also draw inspiration from Lee’s jumpsuit in Game of Death, which would later inspire Uma Thurman’s iconic outfit in Kill Bill.

Caitlin Clark and Kobe Bryant

(Getty Images/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sometimes, sneaker choices have layers.

Ahead of the Sweet 16, Clark and the Hawkeyes were gifted the forthcoming Venice Beach colorway of the Kobe Protro 8. The gifter? Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, who has carried the torch of her late husband’s championing of the next generation of college athletes.

With Kobes on foot and her mind on a mission, Clark will look to complete the job as the final act of her storied college career.

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