10 Motivational Kobe Bryant Work Ethic Stories from Other NBA Players & Coaches
You all know that Kobe Bryant’s work ethic is outstanding, hence the hashtag – #mambamentality. But it is always even more impressive hearing it from other NBA players and coaches.
Carlos Boozer’s Reflections from the 2008 Olympics
“You know what it was for me? And me and him are good friends, but I hadn’t really trained with him — is how hard he works. We saw his dedication to the game. He would get in the gym, lift weights, he would go over to the gym, get shots up before practice, go through the whole practice, and that was his routine every day.
“He’s not great by accident is my point. He puts the work in. And I think what I learned about Kobe is he’s so hungry to be good, he puts the work in. I just think his hunger and his determination is what I was most impressed with.”
Michael Jordan’s Thoughts from His 2012 Biography Author
Lazenby on why Jordan thinks Bryant deserves being compared to him: “Kobe had done the work. He [Jordan] was very aware and taking in great interest in Kobe Bryant’s great work ethic. Michael Jordan’s work ethic also is legendary. He said Kobe had done that work to deserve the comparison. He says Kobe’s the only one to have done the work.”
Jason Kidd’s Impressions from the 2008 Olympics
“Kobe was great. He practices as if it’s Game 7. He wants to prove that he’s the best player in the world every single practice.”
Shaq Reflects on Kobe in 2011 Memoirs
“Kobe is a scientific dawg. He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs.
“Me, I’m a freak-of-nature dawg because of my size. LeBron could be a scientific dawg like Kobe, but he’s not, he’s got a lot going on like I did, so that’s preventing him from being one.”
Jim Boeheim’s Thoughts from 2008 Olympics
“Kobe, from day one, is just the hardest-working player I’ve ever been around. He just does an unbelievable job. He came in, he worked out before practice and practiced harder than anybody and then worked out afterwards and continued the whole trip. The first trip we are qualifying and then the Olympics themselves.
“He’s just an unbelievable competitor and in practice goes 100 percent every day in practice and that brings everybody else up to that same level. He was a huge part of us being ready in the Olympics to be able to win. Of course, when we needed a big shot, he made a big shot against Spain.”
Gary Payton Remembers Kobe’s Early Words in the League
Kobe was so young and so immature in some ways, but I can tell you this: everything Kobe is doing now, he told me all the way back then he was going to do it. We were sitting on the bus once and he told me, “I’m going to be the number one scorer for the Lakers, I’m going to win five or six championships, and I’m going to be the best player in the game.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.” Then he looked me right in the eye and said, “I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA.”
Deron Williams on Kobe Circa 2008
“I have a lot of respect for his game. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” Williams said. “He’s just a great competitor. . . . Just seeing how he works every day, it’s inspiring.
“Until you see it up close and personal, you never really know. Any time a guy was scoring on an opposing team, he wanted to guard him. He always wanted the toughest assignment. That’s just his nature.”
Kevin Durant Reflects on Playing with Kobe on 2008 Olympic Team
Some of the roots of what made Durant such an efficient scoring machine can be traced back to the summer of 2008 when he was trying to make the roster for Beijing and the team was given a day off in Las Vegas.
We’ll let Durant pick up the story from there.
“We had the day off, but they said we could get some shots up if we wanted, so I decided to head over with [Oklahoma City teammate and Team USA hopeful] Jeff Green.
“Kobe [Bryant] was the only guy on the bus, and that spoke volumes to me — he’s the best player in the game, yet he’s always willing to come work on his game, so that kind of motivated me and Jeff,” Durant said. “He went by himself, he got a lot of shots up, and by the time he was done you could see he had gotten better over that hour. Like I said, it was a big inspiration to me and Jeff.”
Metta World Peace in 2009 After Signing with LA
“3rd workout done. Let me tell why I LOVE KOBE “JELLY BEAN”BRYANT! I Get to the gym at 6:45,the Black Mamba gets there at 5:30! Go Lakers!!!”
John Celestand on Kobe During 99′-’00 Season
“The first time I began to understand why he was the best was in the pre-season. In a game against the Wizards, Kobe broke the wrist on his shooting hand. He was always the first person to practice every day, arriving at least an hour and a half early. This would infuriate me because I wanted to be the first person to practice, just as I had always been at Villanova and Piscataway High in New Jersey. To add insult to injury, I lived only 10 minutes from the practice facility — while Kobe was at least 35 minutes away.
“I am ashamed to say that I was excited the day after his injury because I knew that there was no way that No. 8 (as former Laker point guard Tyronn Lue called him) would be the first to practice, if he would even be there at all.
“As I walked through the training room, I became stricken with fear when I heard a ball bouncing. No, no, it couldn’t be! Yes it could. Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.”