He was determined to become the best basketball player of all time. His work ethic was insane, and he would spend time practicing on the court without a basketball. That’s something you don’t see too often.
Kobe Bryant’s career will always be remembered
Kobe Bryant entered the league straight out of high school as a teenager, and he was destined for greatness. He knew that he wanted to be one of the best players ever to play the game, and he knew that he would have to work hard to achieve that. Bryant struggled early on in his career, and he had to make a decision. Did he just want to give up because things weren’t going how he envisioned, or would he step up and put the work in? Everyone knows what he did; he decided to put the extra work and extra time into his game, which would pay off for him.
Bryant soon became one of the Lakers’ top players alongside Shaquille O’Neal. The two formed a dynamic duo in LA, and they were unstoppable. From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers won the NBA title and formed a dynasty. Those titles don’t happen without Bryant and O’Neal. The two had great chemistry on the court, and Bryant knew that if they both played at a high-level, they could win multiple championships, and that is what happened.
Bryant also proved that he did not need O’Neal to win another title. He won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 to give himself five NBA titles. During those two years, Bryant had that look in his eyes, and you can tell he was on a mission. Whether it was late at night or early in the morning, Bryant was up putting that work in because he wanted to be the best. When he retired, he was in a good place because he knew all of the time and effort he put in did not go to waste, and throughout his career, he impacted many people.
Kobe Bryant would practice his game without a basketball; that’s dedication right there
Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal was truly hurt when he found out that Bryant passed away. O’Neal remembered a team early in Bryant’s career when he noticed him doing something out of the ordinary. During TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ broadcast, O’Neal talked about how Bryant would be on the sidelines during practice working on his moves. O’Neal said that Bryant would practice his moves and everything without a basketball. During the broadcast, O’Neal would impersonate what Bryant did, and at the time, the rest of his teammates didn’t know what he was doing.
But for Bryant, he was just working on his game as a rookie. That’s the kind of mentality he had. He did whatever it took to become a better player, even if that was practicing with an invisible ball.
Kobe Bryant meant so much to the NBA
Bryant was more than a basketball player. He was a mentor and a humanitarian. Bryant wanted to touch as many people as he could during his career, and he did that. The five-time champion impacted even more people after he retired. When you mention the NBA, Bryant’s name is always in that conversation because of what he’s done for the game.
Players, coaches, and owners were all emotional when Bryant passed, and even the people that did not have a relationship with him felt like they did because of how he impacted them. Bryant’s legacy will continue to live on in sports as a whole.