This is unbelievable stuff! You absolutely must check out this casual interview with Kobe Bryant (link below)! In a very short amount of time, Kobe explains the mindset he and Michael Jordan approach every day with, not just pertaining to basketball.
I have watched Kobe, as a high school student, grow, develop, and mature into an iconic figure well beyond his years. He certainly did not always make the best decisions (on and off the court), but his ability to literally take away so many lifelong lessons from one single apparent negative situation is simply uncanny. The way he soaks up knowledge and wisdom is ultimately a trait you truly desire to instill in your children.
I grew up watching every move Michael made, both on and off the court, as I grew older, I realized Mike and Kobe were, are, and will continue to be, without a doubt, ultimate students of the game. To be honest, both of these brilliant minds have learned invaluable lessons. It has now gotten to the point where I truly believe, the “MJ or Kobe?” debates and arguments, in the barbershop or YMCA locker room, are simply irrelevant, and, frankly, a waste of time. These two remarkable individuals did not succeed by accident! They are a product of their environment. You don’t have to look far to realize they both had positive role models in their lives growing up, such as amazing supportive parents that believed in their children, but looking further into their basketball careers, both starting as early as elementary school, they were surrounded by positive uplifting adults. Michael was taught from an early age by his math teacher to get an education, and learn how to manage money. Likewise, Kobe grew up in a beautiful relatively small town called Rieti, in the heart of Italy (where I visited for a tryout with an Italian team), it was here, Kobe learned the lessons taught to him by his father, Joe Bryant, who had a remarkable professional career in the NBA and in first league Italy. In Europe, Kobe would spend countless hours alone on the basketball courts honing his jumpshot, while his peers were more focused on European football. Not only did Bryant learn how to develop every aspect of his game in the purest form, being from the Europeans, as the professional basketball product in America was rapidly declining, due to the lack of fundamentals taught to every player on every level in this country, but a young, yet wise, Kobe, learned multiple languages, which he is now fluent in. Both Kobe and Michael come from different eras, but their discipline, work ethic, refusal to give up and refusal to fear failure, attention to detail, and competitive drive, set them apart from almost anyone that has ever laced up a pair of basketball shoes. The ironic thing is both players, when they entered the league, knew exactly what to do. They did what they had been doing their entire lives, by learning 1 or more lessons from literally everyone, every time, in every situation, not just themselves. Back then, it was thought to be common knowledge, a scoring champion could never win an NBA title. “His Airness” quickly turned impossible into an opinion. When every coach in the league told his players to make Jordan go left in the scouting report, MJ ultimately left everyone speechless on basketball’s biggest stage when he drove the lane in the 1991 NBA finals in Los Angeles against Magic Johnson and the Lakers, Michael rose to the occasion as he lifted off, then high above the rim, with his tongue hanging out, as only Jordan could, he once again proved there is nothing he could not do, by switching hands in mid air, away from the shot blocker, from right to left, and finishing with the sweetest finger roll. They said Michael Jordan had 2 weaknesses coming into the league in 1984, his defense and his jumpshot. Not on did Michael more than make up for his weaknesses, he would go on to make them into some of his greatest strengths and weapons. Jordan won the 1988 defensive player of the year award, which to this day, he still considers his single greatest achievement of his career. Not only that, he became the league’s deadliest jumpshooter, making defenders bite on every single shot fake he ever threw at them. Much the same, Bryant entered the league having modeled his game after the greatest player in history. After learning as much as possible from his idol, he was able to do the same thing from the player he ultimately idolized. When Michael came into the NBA, he took everything at least 10 steps further than his predecessors. When Kobe, who was already able to expose even the best defenders at will, saw this, he immediately took note and even reached out to Jordan personally, asking for advice, man-to-man. They never made the same mistake twice. Coincidentally enough, both hall of famers were eventually led by the all-time winningest coach in NBA history, in Phil Jackson. Under the guidance of Coach Jackson and many other hall of fame basketball minds, such as Tex Winter, each player was able to achieve an unparalleled amount of success on the court alone, both winning the highest individual honors, as well as the highest award any player can give his team, being an NBA championship.
One thing I absolutely love about Kobe Bryant and have a great deal of admiration and respect for, is the fact that he wants to pass on his knowledge and wisdom. What I have noticed over the years about Michael Jordan is he is very secretive when it comes to reaching out and teaching everyone he possibly can. Every once in a while you will see Jordan put on a kids camp, but some of his most famous camps and clinics are what has made him into a billionaire, and one of the reasons I believe Michael is truly unhappy with his lifestyle, obviously no longer dominating entire teams inside of a basketball court. You would be a fool to think Kobe is only passing on wisdom in the realm of basketball. Of course, that is how everything transpired into making him more than just an athlete, but the way he has influenced and inspired the world is certainly to be commended on a much wider scale than something many simplify and dumb down to, “a game”.
These days with social media easily being able to serve as a source of information, literally anyone on the planet could learn from what Kobe Bryant has chosen to pass on to us, as a leader who clearly leads by example, and even uses words when necessary. You could be doing anything on earth and benefit from Kobe Bryant‘s life. You could be the president of your country, even the highest ranking soldier in any country’s military, an engineer, scientist, musician,business actor, store manager, business owner, local bartender, a prison guard, or even a prisoner, locked behind bars. Kobe Bryant at 18 years old taught all of us, by
example, we can all learn something from anyone, especially ourselves. I have learned people as old as 102 can learn from a child as young as 2.
Who do you look up to more?
As Bryant’s career progressed, the resemblance of Jordan’s game in a Los Angeles Laker’s uniform was completely unreal, but far too obvious to overlook. Many experts who were convinced Kobe had eclipsed Michael Jordan, now had numbers, videos, more impossible shots, and even new moves to prove their point. They clearly had done their homework. But honestly, Kobe Bryant was doing the exact same thing Michael Jordan did, simply taking all the fundamentals they had ever learned and constantly improvising and improving, both of course, without ever needing to be told by anyone, such as coaches, teammates, media, or the fans. If you are at all familiar with the Laker’s culture of winning or understood Chicago basketball in the 1990’s, you know, without a doubt, if you are going have to thrive in 2 of the biggest markets for professional basketball in America, You must be continually self-motivated. Many times, superstars like Kobe and Michael will do something as wild as just sit and meditate on a completely false line of thinking such as a fake story made up about a former teammate or opponent, just to be able to live a lie to keep them motivated to constantly becoming better versions of themselves, because they have literally surpassed every single one of their peers and opponents by such a significant margin, they are their own worst enemy, in terms of holding themselves back, because no one man could even slow either one of them down, not even entire teams seemed to affect how focused, driven, and disciplined each of these superhuman immortals had trained the most powerful organ in the body, being the mind. There is no doubt, they both had that unbelievably powerful ability that they were somehow always able to summon from deep within.
Seriously! If we are going to have the debate, Please do it on here where virtually everything is out in the open, unlike Michael Jordan highlight videos or a discussion of Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points, and for the love of Dr. James Naismith, who departed from us on this day nearly a century ago, please do not bring up LeBron James! It is actually a good thing Dr. Naismith Is no longer with us, because he would absolutely roll over in his grave if he saw the game he brought to life being treated as poorly and recklessly as someone who chooses to name himself, “the king”, or worse, “the chosen one”.
Honestly, for the record, we want to hear everyone’s valid points regarding Mike and/or Kob, no matter who you are, or what your background is. You could be The next Hubie Brown, John Wooden, or Steve Jenkins, but then again, you might be a high school dropout, yet still have tremendous personal insight into one of these unbelievable men’s personal lives. Perhaps you played 18 holes with Mike, or maybe you were one of the fans in attendance at Lower Merion high school that witnessed firsthand what a raw talent old Jellybean’s boy was before declaring for the NBA. Possibly, your name is Spike Lee, and you are reading this, of course you do not owe everything in one post, to be honest, you do not owe anything to anyone’s post, but you are well aware of the desire of every single little boy, and in many cases, a vast amount of young females of all races around the globe that really do “wanna be like mike”, or when you documented a day in the life of Kobe Bryant, entitled “Kobe doin’ work”, we have all grown very aware of your public relationships with many of these iconic figures.
Whatever the case, whoever you are, if you can share some enlightening facts, or even if you are aware of, a little known, hard to believe, conspiracy theory, on something like the flu game, or any number of Kobe’s injuries, possibly even events leading up to James Jordan‘s murder, or what Shaq was like in the locker room, please feel free to share your knowledge of what partly goes on in one or both of these athletes lives, on or off the court. Please be respectful of everyone’s right to their own opinion. It is, after all, just an opinion, BUT everyone deserves the opportunity to try to share and help the rest of us!
Like when the hypothetical number one, best selling, most decorated, movie of all time comes to theaters, the movie itself sells the tickets. There is absolutely no need to advertise. You are more than happy to fork over insane amounts of cash for the price of admission, and the fact is, everyone in attendance would do the same thing over and over and over again, just to witness the exact same outcome they had seen every night for the past three weeks, because they were constantly amazed at all the new things they did not notice the previous show. It seemed like every time they came back, they knew they were in for something new, and they would absolutely love the feeling that kept them coming back time after time, all because of the way everything they had witnessed had an impact on their 5 senses. Fast forward 10 to 15 years later. The same producer decides to do the same thing with even more special effects, achieve another kind of storybook ending, have a more dangerous antagonist, and maybe even equip the hero with a new sidekick. Opening night comes, and everyone in attendance shows up hours early, just to make sure they get in the door. Eventually, the entire room gets dark, as everyone is filled with anticipation, as soon as the show begins, many have already come to the realization, it is every bit as good as advertised. The nonstop action keeps the audience on the edges of their seats the entire time. As the performance goes on, the audience is so captivated and perplexed by what is happening in front of them, they can not seem to be able to put this showing into perspective. At the conclusion, the fans are left standing and applauding. They then go home, and all they can talk about is what their favorite part was, or what they enjoyed the most about the show. The next day at work, everyone in town seems to be arguing about which of the 2 performances ultimately will be remembered as the greatest show to ever transcend the industry. Many will say there is a new sheriff in town, generally the younger generation that lives in the here and the now. Still, plenty of others will not forget the first time they ever realized they could have those strong feelings and emotions as a spectator because of a human performance 15 years ago. Generally the old-school generation will always believe the original is the best. To be perfectly honest, 2 different individuals, will never be able to agree which one was superior. There are so many different valid arguments, that from an unbiased position, you absolutely must respect what your second choice has accomplished, when it is all said and done, mainly because of the simple fact, both performances were so accomplished and rewarding, and while they seemed to be mirror images of each other, extreme differences stand out to the trained eye that also make them both equally amazing. But for some reason, we continue the debate, even to the point where we catch ourselves casting words of discouragement towards our second favorite of all time.
Number 23 or number 24?
Perfect choice! Now tell us why!