Kobe Bryant might have fallen apart quickly after peaking with a second straight scoring title in 2006-07, if it wasn’t for Tim Grover’s help.
We’ve all known forever that there are few people who could ever even dream of emulating Kobe Bryant. But if the thought of emulating Bryant’s on-court achievements is a pipe dream for most, it’s basically impossible to emulate his work ethic.
There has probably been no one in any craft or line of work more dedicated to excellence than Kobe. This was a man who’d had the world at his feet since his teenage years. Indeed, Kobe was a part-time teenage heartthrob WHILE being an NBA player at 18 years of age.
But Kobe Bryant was the one man who preferred getting his work in when the lights were off. He’s the one sportsperson with whom the legend was true – he was out there burning the midnight oil in order to get an advantage over his rivals.
Over the years, it became clear that nobody in the league would touch his skill levels. This much was never more apparent than during the 3 years from 2004 to 2007, when Kobe Bryant pasted the NBA with 40-burgers one after the other.
However, the toll of demanding excellence from himself every single second got to Kobe pretty early as well. After finishing his 11th professional season, Kobe realized that he needed to make some changes.
Tim Grover goes through the changes he made with Kobe Bryant and his workout regimen
Kobe Bryant conferred with his mentor and idol – THE Michael Jordan – about which trainer to work with. Jordan recommended Tim Grover with his eyes closed with the parting message ‘He’s the biggest a**hole there is!’
Tim Grover detailed how Kobe Bryant had worn his eccentric muscle tissue out and was unable to relax his muscles and decelerate at an elite level back in 2007 in an interview with GQ Sports:
“We started to go through the regimen, and the problem with his knees was, he was basically doing too much. I said ‘You can continue to work with everybody, but I have to be in charge. I have to know everything that’s happening.’”
“Once we got everybody on the same page, we actually decreased his workload. Kobe is one of those persons that, his biggest obsession was to have more championships than Michael. If you asked him when he would retire, he would say ‘After number 7.’”