Former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant holds the status as one of the NBA’s greatest players. Bryant‘s unwavering commitment to his craft pushed him to reach tremendous heights. It led him to often treat his teammates harshly, which he revealed why he purposely chose that route.
Kobe Bryant’s illustrious NBA legacy
Bryant spent his entire two-decade NBA career donning a Lakers uniform, where he firmly established himself as one of the greatest talents.
His dedication and work ethic lifted him to tremendous success that garnered his cemented recognition. It pushed him to earn five NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVP awards, a regular-season MVP award, 15 All-NBA Team selections, 12 NBA All-Defensive Team nods, and his two jersey numbers retired with the Lakers.
Bryant accomplished it all while his Mamba Mentality approach anchored his unwavering commitment. It also led him to develop a strong reputation for his often verbally tough treatment of his teammate.
Kobe Bryant ruthlessly explained why he was an ‘A–hole’ with teammates: ‘I don’t respect their work ethic’
Bryant‘s extreme dedication to his craft pushed him to garner a stern reputation.
Although the former Lakers star earned the status as an all-time great, his treatment of several of his teammates didn’t exactly send a strong positive vibe. It led current Lakers’ assistant coach Phil Handy to ask the five-time NBA champion why he carried that attitude toward his teammates.
“His realness. He was misunderstood. I asked him one time, I asked him ‘why you such an asshole?,'” Handy recounted during an appearance on the All the Smoke podcast. “I asked him that and he said ‘you really want to know?’ You know how he was, and he said to me, ‘Phil, man, some of my teammates don’t understand the work.’ He said ‘I see dudes walk into practice 10 minutes before practice and they leave right after, why the f*** am I gonna pass them the basketball?”
“I don’t respect their work ethic, I’m in here busting my ass every day trying to perfect my craft and these dudes don’t want to work on their game, I don’t trust them. So I’m not gonna pass them the basketball, I’m gonna ride them hard every day.’ It made perfect sense when he really broke it down to why he is the way he is with certain dudes. I was just like ‘man, I respect that bro, I respect that.’
Bryant took notice of his teammates not matching the same level of commitment to their craft. It simply didn’t rub him the right way, leading him to adapt to the harsh treatment to push his teammates harder in practice.
Meanwhile, Bryant’s stance wasn’t asking his teammates to do anything he didn’t do. He wanted his teammates to demonstrate the same dedication he did, and being a jerk to them during practice was his of expressing that message soundly.
Kobe Bryant left an irreplaceable imprint on the NBA
Bryant’s often stern demeanor and laser focus were critical parts pushing him to achieve tremendous sustained success.
His unwavering commitment to craft helped him become one of the game’s greatest players and an inspiration for the generations of NBA talent that followed him. Bryant remains the gold standard for greatness as his mental approach is one of that many of the game’s current stars aim to replicate.
Bryant’s impact is forever felt on the game as he left an imprint that will influence players for decades ahead.