Many view what Kobe Bryant did in his obsession with basketball as an unhealthy practice in the long term. But it did earn him Jason Bourne comparisons.
The Black Mamba is one of the few athletes who need no introduction. He may have passed from the worldly abode 18 months back, but his legacy in basketball will last forever.
After all, the 18-time All-Star gave his 110% every time he stepped on that court. He personified what it meant to be a tough, in-your-face but fair competitor with his actions. And he also personified what a person can become through hard work and dedication.
The Black Mamba’s obsession with basketball meant that he did a lot of things that other pros didn’t. He inculcated a routine that would maximize his output on the basketball court.
He pumped his body with painkillers and sedatives to be able to keep playing through injuries. And he pushed himself to the absolute limit even while substantially injured, before Father Time eventually emerged victorious.
When Esquire mag compared Kobe Bryant to his heroes Jason Bourne and James Bond
Esquire magazine did an in-depth story on the Lakers legend a few days into his preparation for his 2007-08 season. They sent a writer to hang out with the Mamba for 5 days. He watched and talked with Kobe for over a dozen hours during those days.
In Mike Sager’s words, Kobe Bryant really did not want the public to love him. What he wanted was for the public to recognize his work ethic and his excellence, whatever their feelings towards him as a person may be. This is how he’s described by Sager:
“He sees his work as his art, his calling. Like Jason Bourne and James Bond, two of his cinematic heroes, Kobe sees himself as an über-practitioner: a modern warrior able to solve any problem, able to train his way into dominance.”
“He is the self-styled black mamba, known for its striking ability, aggression, and speed. All those sweaty commercials for Sprite and Nike? Those were his idea. Film my workout, he suggested.”
“That is the essence of me: the guy who guts it out on every rep. Kobe’s logo, which you will hear more about in the coming years, is called the Sheath.”
Few writers have captured the Black Mamba’s essence better than this.
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