Kobe Bryant left a legacy that is really hard to describe in mere words. But it lives on in the stories of those who lived and worked with him.
There was a time when the Black Mamba was one of the most famous people on the planet. Kobe was the one player who carried the torch for the sport at a global level after Michael Jordan’s retirement.
A part of the reason why Kobe was so revered by fans worldwide was his incessant, undying work ethic. There are several tales about the 5-time champion’s drive to outwork and dominate his competitors that continue to inspire players.
Those who’ve been on Kobe’s teams have always remarked how the Black Mamba was a consummate professional. Kobe Bryant would train methodically, study the game obsessively and play coach or mentor whenever the situation demanded that.
In the month leading up to what would’ve been his 43rd birthday, we’re taking a look at a few of the most interesting Kobe tales on the Internet. This particular one concerns his experiences with Team USA Basketball.
Team USA trainer says Kobe Bryant would train incessantly, inspiring the likes of LeBron James
Kobe joined the Team USA Basketball program following their bronze-medal finish at the 2006 FIBA World Cup. Coach K wanted the Black Mamba to infuse the program with his rigor and enthusiasm, and Kobe obliged.
Bryant worked with a trainer named Robert during their camp in Las Vegas ahead of the 2008 Olympics. Robert says that Kobe called him up to help him get shots up at their practice facility at 4:15 AM.
According to the trainer, the Lakers legend did some conditioning and strength training work for about 2 hours. Kobe then let Robert get back to the hotel after getting back out on the floor to get shots up.
Robert wrote on Reddit that he returned to the practice floor with the rest of the team at 11 AM. This was when everyone had their scheduled team practice session. The rest of the situation is best described in his own words:
This next part I remember very vividly. All of the Team USA players were there. LeBron was talking to Carmelo and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility Kobe was by himself shooting jumpers.
I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, “Good work this morning.”
“Like, the conditioning. Good work.”
“Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.”
“So when did you finish?”
“Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?”
“Oh, just now. I wanted 800 makes. So yeah, just now.”
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