6’6″ Kobe Bryant revealed the step he had to take to finally become a champion, and a Lakers legend

Arun Sharma
|Published August 13, 2022

Kobe Bryant was not always great – when he entered the league, he was raw, and enthusiastic but not a complete player.

Kobe Bryant entered the league as a brash young 18-year-old with the sole motive of playing against Michael Jordan before he retired. Straight out of high school and into the big leagues, Kobe had the skillsets to go 13th in the draft. Charlotte may have drafted him, but the Lakers got to see him perform for 20 straight years.

A lot of highs and lows in his career, but one thing was constant. Kobe was a guy from a very young age who knew he had to keep learning. He started poorly but put in long hours in the gym, exponentially getting better. Kobe’s rise was meteoric from being a role player to the youngest All-Star ever. One area he needed to improve immediately was his shot selection.

The 6’6″ icon was great at the rim for a rookie, but he airballed a lot of shots. Not a great look for someone touted to be the next MJ. But he identified the pain point and got to the root cause swiftly. He saw the difference in the number of games as the reason for not being able to connect. The number of games in a school season was 35, but the NBA was 82. His body was not ready to take the pressures of a full season.

He switched up his training routine to up the intensity, and get in shape for a grueling career.

Also Read: “Knew the janitor, he opened up the gym for me, I was there until the sun came up”: When Kobe Bryant air-balled 4 shots against the Jazz in a playoffs elimination game and went straight to practice

Kobe Bryant is the epitome of “hard work beats talent” – Just ask Allen Iverson or Tract McGrady

Some players are more talented than Kobe Bryant for sure – but honing your skills every single minute beats partying on game nights. Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady were two players who were drafted in 1996 and 97, and they were much better than him. Both of them had immense talent but didn’t follow up on it.

Not to say that they did not achieve great things, but it could have ended so much better for them. The dup ended up retiring ringless and with a whimper. On the other hand, Kobe was given the grandest of exits, with him dropping 60 points in his last ever game. That is the way for a legend to bow out, not just riding the bench as a role player.

The three of them had some fierce battles on the court, but off it, all was good. They all shared great camaraderie, which can be seen even today. T-Mac and the Answer have always loved Kobe and he, them.

Also Read: 6’6″ Kobe Bryant once tried to stop 6’9″ Tracy McGrady from working out, while getting to the weight room himself!

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About the author

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

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