Kobe Bryant relentless work ethic over his high school career turned him into one of the best players in the country, so good, in fact, that just 6 years after he failed to score a single point in basketball camp, Kobe was drafted 13th overall in the NBA, but his work ethic didn’t stop there; he pushed himself even harder as an NBA player.
Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons, but all of these would not have been as he almost quit basketball when he was 12 years old, after a summer basketball camp left him feeling like a disgrace.
In the camp, Kobe Bryant did not score a single point. Not one jumper, not one layup, not even one free throw.
He spent that entire summer in frustration – questioning whether basketball was really for him. He was, after all, a promising soccer player – so why dream of becoming a basketball player when he clearly had no talent for it?
Then Kobe read about one of his heroes, Michael Jordan, he learned how Michael got cut from his high school basketball team but didn’t quit.
Getting cut motivated Michael to outwork everyone around him to prove his coach wrong.
When Kobe learned this, a fire was created inside of him that would never be put out. He wanted to work harder than everyone else for the rest of his basketball career – and he did.
When Kobe entered high school, he got to the gym every day at 5 am and would not leave the afternoon practice until 7 pm!
After the official practice was over, he convinced his teammates to play one-on-one games with him up to 100 points.
He singled out any player that could help him improve his skills and forced them to challenge him.
He practiced by himself, sometimes even without a ball, hours before his teammates showed up to the gym.
He forced himself to make 400 shots every single practice; he put himself through 4 hours of intense workouts on game days!
He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships with the Lakers. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team.
He completely cut out sugar and had one of the strictest diets in the NBA.
And he continued to force teammate practised after practice to face him one-on-one.
All of this work led Kobe to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league’s all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Clearly, it was not an innate talent that helped Kobe Bryant reach his extraordinary success; it was his sheer ferocity of will.