Former Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant put together one of the most illustrious careers. Beyond Bryant‘s stellar play on the court, he earned a tremendous amount of respect from his peers from his mindset and work ethic along with preparation for his craft. His resume speaks for itself, but there was also the stigma concerning difficulty playing alongside him at times throughout his career. Among that, there was one thing that Bryant had genuine disdain for more than anything else.
Kobe Bryant’s approach to the game
One of the most veered aspects of Bryant that draws much attention was his mental approach to the game. It was the vaunted “Mamba Mentality” that he coined that guided him to take his performance on the court to the next level.
That was a part of Bryant that separated him from many of his peers as he played with an unwavering passion. It’s the one critical part to his identity as a player that has aspired many of the players after him such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard to adapt that to their approach to the game.
The manner that Bryant took wasn’t one that rubbed all of his teammates the right way, but it’s certainly something that helped drive the Lakers forward to success and elevate his play. At the same time, it also made it crystal clear what he didn’t like.
What Kobe Bryant hated most
Bryant had an unwavering passion for the game, which drove his play to greater heights on the court to become one of the greatest players in league history.
However, that passion and commitment also raised the expectation levels he had from his teammates to carry their own alongside him on the court. During a recent interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the “The Woj Pod,” former Lakers assistant coach Tom Bialaszewski voiced that what bothered Bryant the most was that he didn’t want players that were “yes men” around him.
“The biggest thing he didn’t want, he didn’t want yes men around him. He wanted people who had a conviction about their thoughts and who had an opinion, and didn’t kiss his ass and tell him what he wanted to hear. I think he really respected that.”
That falls in line with who Bryant was as he was strong-willed into his convictions on the court. That played a pivotal part in helping drive him to success and greatness. It’s only reasonable to believe that he wanted that same mentality from his teammates to help push him and, more importantly, the team forward.
Bryant’s hard-nosed approach didn’t rub all of his teammates the right way, but it’s what drove the Lakers to success throughout much of his career. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, that’s what he demanded from those around him.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy
There were times in Bryant’s career where he had tiffs with his teammates for various reasons, but that didn’t impact his performance on the court.
His unmistakable personal drive on the court was oftentimes unmatched that further cemented his legacy. It was a piece of who Bryant was and what made him tick on the court to strive for greatness and push himself into the argument into being the greatest player to play the game.
He wanted to surpass what every player before him did and best Michael Jordan for the vaunted title as the best to take the court in NBA history. That’s what made Bryant a legend in the game and will continue to inspire the generations to come well after him.