One thing is for sure with Kobe Bryant - he's not afraid to take on any given challenge. Lately, we've come to know that he's also not afraid to issue a challenge no matter the circumstances. Bryant retired from basketball in 2016 after playing 20 years in the NBA, but his competitive nature is still there. Even in his retirement, "The Black Mamba" as he is known, is still one of the most talked about sports figures in the world. He is a five-time NBA champion, 18-time All-Star, two-time Finals MVP and he also won the MVP award for the 2007/2008 season.

With all of this being said, it's safe to say that when Kobe talks - everybody listens. His knowledge about the game of basketball is second to none, and his career achievements make it almost impossible not to acknowledge him when he speaks.

Kobe challenges Isaiah

One of the things that the NBA fans have been talking a lot this summer is the Kyrie Irving trade. Irving requested to be traded from Cleveland earlier this summer, and it happened eventually as he got traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for isaiah thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and next year's first round draft pick. Following the trade between the Cavs and the Celtics, Kobe Bryant went to Instagram and issued a challenge to the former Celtic Isaiah Thomas by writing: "I challenge you to make the All-NBA First Team next season." While this might seem like a too big of a challenge for the 5-foot-9 Thomas, he proved last season that he is among the best point guards in the NBA.

He led his Celtics to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference standings as they had the best record in the East at 53-29. Led by Isaiah, Boston made it to the Conference Finals last season for the first time since the 2011/2012 season. No doubt that it was a total team effort by the Celtics, but if it wasn't for Isaiah it's hard to think that they would've made it.

Can he do it?

Thomas had a brilliant 2016/2017 campaign, as he finished the season averaging a career-high 28.9 points per game and also added 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field. He finished fifth in the MVP voting and also made the Eastern Conference All-Star team and to top it all of he made the All-NBA Second Team.

Now, Kobe Bryant is challenging him to be even better next season with the Cavaliers and to make the All-NBA First team. Is it possible that Thomas can perform at that high of a level to be considered one of the five best players in the NBA next season? Why not. In order to do so, he will have to outperform James Harden or Russell Westbrook next season as the two of them are the backcourt players that made the All-NBA First Team last season. Both of them had historic seasons, and now it's up to Isaiah Thomas to rise to the challenge.