When it comes to the basketball world, Kobe Bryant is a name that people won’t forget. He impacted the game in many ways, and his legacy will always be remembered. Bryant was a competitor, and no matter what his condition was, he was going out on that court and giving it all that he had.
Bryant has the championships, the awards, and the Olympic gold medals. His resume is lengthy, and his love for basketball ran deep. Though Bryant had a deep love and passion for the game, basketball was not his favorite sport.
A look a Kobe Bryant’s iconic career
Bryant spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He spent 20 years pouring his heart and soul wearing that purple and gold. Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have both of his jerseys retired by a team. If you look at Bryant’s stats, there’s no surprise why the Lakers retired both of his jerseys.
Even before he came into the league, he was destined for greatness. Bryant wanted to be the best when he was a senior and high school, and he knew he would have to put in the work. That’s exactly what he did. From the 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors to his last game where he dropped 60 points on the Utah Jazz, Bryant always put on a show.
Not only was Bryant one of the top scorers in NBA history, but he could also defend at a high-level. He would guard the best player on the opposing team from start to finish. His will and drive made him an elite player. Bryant impacted many of the players in the NBA today and other professional athletes in general. The “Mamba Mentality” has had an effect on a lot of people, even outside of sports.
Kobe Bryant loved soccer
Bryant grew up in Italy, a place where soccer is very popular. His love for the game started at a young age. From the age of six to 14, Bryant played soccer while living in Italy, and he was pretty good at the sport. In 2006, he had a conversation with Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune and talked about his experience as a soccer player. “I wasn’t anything spectacular,” Bryant said. “I would have moments of doing something crazy that wasn’t done on purpose.”
When he was playing soccer, he started out playing goalkeeper because of his long arms. Over time he worked on his game and moved to midfield. Bryant did not start focusing on basketball until he moved to Philadelphia. He’s been a huge soccer fan from the time he was a young kid.
Kobe Bryant, the soccer player
Bryant followed soccer very closely. Any chance he got, he would attend a soccer match. His relationships with some of the top soccer players go to show how much respect he had for the players. With Bryant being a well-known figure across the world, the soccer community showed that same respect to Bryant.
Bryant had that competitive nature even in soccer. It didn’t matter what sport he played or what he was doing, and he wanted to be the best. With all the success he had in basketball, the sport that he loved more than that was soccer.