While Kobe Bryant made his name for all he did on the court, one of his most prominent traits was him being clutch. However, according to former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, even Kobe had his bad days. Yet, instead of letting that bring his confidence down, we all know how the Black Mamba saw every game as a learning opportunity. Kobe studied his mistakes and did all he could to not repeat them.
While talking about when he first met Kobe, Shaq described how Jerry West told him about Kobe Bryant. O’Neal wasn’t initially paying much attention to West. However, seeing Kobe Bryant on the court for the first time had his attention for sure.
“And then we got there, how exuberant he was, how he just wanted to be great from Day 1. We kinda had to, you know, slow him down a little bit. But, you know my favorite thing about Kobe was doing like you know shooting around in warmups. He wouldn’t start on top, but he would just be in the corner working on his moves. Like you know he’d be on the court with no ball, working on his moves,” O’Neal explained.
Kobe Bryant always trained alone before training with the rest of the team. Kobe was famous for his early morning workouts before any of his teammates. And now, we see that he did not even need the ball to work on his game.
“And I remember the defining moment for Kobe, we were playing a lot of guys on the court at Utah. Utah was killing us in the playoffs, his last three shots were air balls. He had his head down, and I remember putting my arm around his head and you know what don’t worry about it young fella, one day people are going to fear you taking the last shot. And he just you know became to be one of the greatest players,” Shaq added.
It was almost like Kobe Bryant was always either training or watching tape and learning. Kobe gave his entire life to basketball and the NBA rightly acknowledges that, naming him one of the greatest 75 players of all-time. This shows how much we can learn from the Kobe’s legacy. Kobe Bryant taught us that failure is an essential part of the path to success. He is truly an inspirational legend.