Lil Wayne says Kobe Bryant has inspired a lot of his songs.

The 'Lollipop' rapper - whose real name is Dwayne Carter - has paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player for the way he ''fights through injury'' which has led the 29-year-old star to pen a number of tracks about the legendary sportsman.

He said: ''He's inspired not only songs, but he's inspired me in life in general just the way he attacks things, the way he never backs down, the way he fights through injury.''

The rapper - who served eight months for attempted weapon possession in 2010 - counts Kobe as one of his main inspirations through life and he has been spurred on to succeed by looking at how well the Lakers star ''excels through injury''.

He added to the Los Angeles Times: ''Not only do he fight through injury, and not only do he play through injury, he excel through injury. I take those type of things and I just apply them to my everyday life.

''I believe he's the greatest player to touch a basketball.''