Although some may argue against the greatness of Kobe Bryant, after 20 seasons in purple and gold Kobe Bryant had an outstanding career in the NBA, proving himself as one of the all time greats by having one of the best work ethics, evolving with the game of basketball, and overcoming injury and hardships during his tenure with the Lakers.
Many may say this man worked harder or that man worked harder, but at the end of the day Kobe Bean Bryant was one of the hardest workers the NBA has ever seen. One example of Bryant’s insane work ethic was when he said after he won his 5th NBA Championship, he went right back into the gym to start his offseason grind early while his teammates were still basking in the glory of winning the title.
In 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe had an insane number of accolades and achievements in that time frame. From the beginning of his career he instantly showed glimpses of the greatness to come by being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team in 1997, and also winning the Slam Dunk Contest that same year, even though he was not named to the All-Star Team that year. But as Bryant’s mentality has shown, being cut short of the All-Star didn’t stop him at all. The Black Mamba would go onto be named to the All-Star Team a total of 18 times in his tenure with the Lakers
Most of these came towards the end of his career, one of the worst being when he tore his achilles. “In the moments prior to playing in his first game following an Achilles’s injury that would have ended the career of most, Kobe reflected between two photos of Magic Johnson”
Being one of the few players in the NBA to come back from an achilles injury, shows the mental toughness, and also physical toughness, Bryant exerted in these times. Kobe spoke further on the toughness of injuries saying, “What I always try to do through injuries is not think about them because when the game itself is more significant than the injury you don’t feel the injury. The injury won’t get in the way because it is not important to you”.
Having the ‘Mamba Mentality’ that Bryant has is one of the many reasons that he was always able to fight through and recover injuries he suffered, no matter how major or minor they were.
“When the game itself is more significant than the injury, you don’t feel the injury” – Kobepic.twitter.com/drizbgnV7U
— Kobe Highlights & Motivation (@kobehighlight) July 7, 2021