Kobe Bryant was one of the hardest working players ever in NBA history, something Nick Van Exel recently spoke up about during an episode of ‘Knuckleheads.’
‘The Mamba Mentality’ is famous for what it embodies. Kobe Bryant was always the first person in the gym and the last one out. He worked on his art so meticulously and perfectly to the point where you could even possibly label it as a flaw.
When he tore his achilles, Kobe Bryant didn’t step out of the game immediately, instead, finishing both of his free throws before finally exiting the game. The stories of his work ethic are remarkable.
This is the stuff I think about when I think about Kobe Bryant on a basketball court.
Hitting two free throws with a torn Achilles in a regular season game because his team was down a bucket and they needed him.
Lakers won by two. Talents like this stay with us forever. pic.twitter.com/jH3hUzE8af
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) January 27, 2020
Nick Van Exel Speaks About Kobe Bryant And His Incredible Work Ethic
Nick Van Exel appeared on Q and D’s ‘Knuckleheads’ podcast to speak about Kobe Bryant, and how incredible his effort was even during practice.
This is something several NBA players have spoken about in the past too. Jamal Crawford once recounted a story about Kobe Bryant that will make your head shake:
“I heard one time in a workout that he practiced a shot for an hour. The same shot. For one hour. And it wasn’t like a three-pointer, it was a little shot in the mid-range area. Do you know how tedious that is? Do you know how locked in you have to be to do one shot for an hour? To trick your mind that way? That’s unbelievable.”
It’s this same attitude that Nick Van Exel mentioned whenever he saw Kobe Bryant pull up in the gym. Kobe and Exel were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 (when Kobe was drafted) to 1998. Even at a young age, Exel appreciated his hardworking character.
You can see the whole episode of the ‘Knuckleheads’ here:
Exel speaks about Bryant’s work ethic at around the 28 minute mark of the video.