“Don’t let challenges break you Instead let them make you, But it’s up to you to decide how it shapes you”
Growing up, I watched Kobe almost every day, celebrating every game won and feeling devastated by every loss. You can say that he is my childhood hero. It wasn’t just the way he played basketball; it was the way he approached life. It was more than a triumphant conclusion to a legendary career; it was a manifestation of a life lived without compromise. Kobe’s unwavering pursuit of greatness extended beyond the basketball court, influencing even mundane decisions in my everyday life. I never met Kobe, never spoke to him, and yet, his presence was palpable in the choices I made and the paths I followed. “What would Kobe do?” was more than a question; it was an invocation, a plea to rise above mediocrity and to embrace challenges with an unwavering resolve. In relationships, at work, or in personal development, Kobe’s legacy inspired me to live without fear of failure, always striving for what seemed impossible, but was merely waiting to be achieved.
Hardwork Beats Talent
“Kobeee” I know I’m not the only one who yells or whispers his name whenever I shoot something and it goes in. Honestly, I never heard someone say “Jordan” or “LeBron” for the same act, even if they are the ones who are always in the GOAT debate. But what made him different from the rest? Skills? Most Pro have that. Talent? They are all born with it. But passion, hard work, and dedication to the game are just a few of the traits that set him apart from other players.
Not the Goat, But a God??
Last 3 seconds of the game, you have the ball in your hand, on the floor are, Kobe, Jordan, LeBron and Allen, who are you gonna pass? Well, call me biased, but I’ll always say Kobe, His confidence and accuracy in taking the most crucial shots sets him different from others. His confidence was unique because it emanated from a wellspring of hard work. It didn’t simply materialize out of thin air; it was the result of countless hours and shots he put in at the gym. While others are sleeping, Kobe is already up shooting at the gym, and by the time they went to the court, Kobe is already soaking with sweat, new players may be surprised by this but his old teammates are used to seeing it every day and in fact, most of them have been influenced by him. Even top NBA players were astounded by his work ethic. Prior to the 2008 Olympics, his younger teammates were amazed to find him drenched in sweat from a grueling three-hour workout long before breakfast. Not the GOAT, but in terms of dedication, commitment and the way he inspires everyone around him, was definitely on a Godlike level.
101% Effort, 24/7 Mamba Mentality
He maximized every ounce of his abilities, showcasing an exceptional combination of speed and athleticism during his prime, which made him a daunting challenge for defenders. However, even as those physical advantages diminished in his late 30s due to injuries, Kobe remained virtually unstoppable. This was because he possessed the soul of a true technician. Throughout his life, he dedicated countless hours to perfecting his craft in the gym, refining his skills to a level where he had no discernible weaknesses.
But it wasn’t just the sheer effort he invested; Kobe was also exceptionally smart about how he approached his training. The refinement of his game on both offense and defense didn’t come naturally; it was the product of deliberate practice and meticulous film study. Kobe’s commitment to improving his skills knew no bounds, evident in every move he made on the court.
One aspect often overlooked in his dominance was his ability to sustain it consistently. While many players could have a few remarkable games, Kobe’s excellence extended night after night, making him a true force to be reckoned with.
During his prime, which spanned from 27 to 31 years old, Kobe achieved his best individual seasons and secured his fourth and fifth championships. He remarkably played in 394 out of 410 regular-season games in that period, as well as 79 playoff games, and even won a gold medal. Such a sustained run of brilliance, especially in the era of load management, remains unparalleled.
However, Kobe wasn’t just a basketball maniac. He relished the fame and fortune that accompanied his success, especially in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. He embraced his role as a cultural icon and cherished his family deeply. Even with all the doors that basketball opened for him, he never lost sight of the hard work that got him there. He remained a dedicated student of the game, mastering every aspect and pushing himself to the limits.
Lesson Learned from Kobe Bryant
Just like in life, basketball is not fair. Unlike his former teammate Shaq, who was blessed with an alien built like body that was perfect for basketball, Kobe is just standing at 6’6’’ and body although agile is just small compared to the most guys in the NBA. But he did not let his built become an obstacle in achieving what he has done. He works three,or maybe 5 times his peers just to make it up for his size. So one thing we learn from him is “Hard work really pays off.” So just like in life, if you really want something, work hard for it, it may not show at first, but surely, gradually, things will improve and will get better in time.
Another Mamba Mentality that we must have is to be prepared before going in a battle. Or if we relate in real life, be prepared and study every little detail of things. Kobe understood the importance of meticulous preparation. His attention to detail and understanding of the game of basketball became so well-known around the league, In fact, some of the NBA stars like Kevin Durant are scared of facing Kobe during crunch time because they know he dominates in crucial moments.
Kobe maybe long gone, but will never ever be forgotten, the way he play basketball, his mentality, and his love for his family, will always be my inspiration and definitely one of things I think about when making crucial decisions, If there are challenges that I came across, What would I do? Just like Kobe Bryant, of course! Man up and take the shot. And If I miss, it’s okay, just come back up and be hungry for more. Be mindful of I came from and be prepared for what’s coming. So next time you face some hardships along the way, and you’re undecided to what steps to take, ask yourself “What would Kobe Do?”