Daniel Gafford quoting Kobe Bryant will fire up every Mavericks fan for the playoffs

Atlanta Hawks v Dallas Mavericks
Atlanta Hawks v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Back in February, the Dallas Mavericks traded for Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards. It was clear that the team needed some depth behind Dereck Lively II, and Gafford has been exactly what they've needed.

Gafford is averaging 11.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game as a Maverick while shooting 77.3 percent from the field. His ability to protect the rim and anchor the defense has been outstanding, and he displayed that last night in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Gafford finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, one steal, and two blocks, and he was dunking everything. This tied Gafford's career-high in points, and what he had to say after the game will fire up every Mavs fan for the playoffs.

Daniel Gafford quoting Kobe Bryant shows that the real work is just beginning

Gafford emphasized that Dallas' message in the locker room is to "handle business," but he also dropped an iconic quote from Kobe Bryant that shows the team's serious mindset and how they are locked in on making a deep playoff run.

"I’m pretty sure everybody is excited," Gafford said when asked about the NBA Playoffs. "It’s a business so we gotta make sure to take care of business going down the road…In the great words of Kobe Bryant, God rest his soul, ‘The job’s not done until it’s done’…”

Bryant dropped a similar quote after the Los Angeles Lakers' Game Two victory over the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals. He was asked if he was happy about the win. Bryant's response was a true sign of his Mamba Mentality, and Gafford and the Mavs seem to have a similar mindset right now.

"What's there to be happy about," Bryant said to the reporter when asked why he didn't seem happy after the win. "Job's not finished. Job finished? I don't think so."

Gafford and the Mavs showing the same mindset that Kobe showed in the 2009 NBA Finals is remarkable, and this starts with their leaders. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have led this team tremendously, and Irving kept his promise from the beginning of the year that he was going to lead this team "in a different way they haven’t been led before."

Dallas' next game is tonight against the Miami Heat. If they win, the Mavs clinch their first Southwest Division Title since 2021. Dallas has already clinched the NBA Playoffs, but a win tonight ensures that the New Orleans Pelicans have no way of catching them in the standings.

For all the latest on Daniel Gafford and the Dallas Mavericks throughout their playoff push, stay tuned.