Those who have witnessed how Kobe Bryant kept in shape, prepared, and motivated for the rigors of an 82-game season throughout the 20 years he played in the NBA have been blown away. Kobe took his dedication to another level with a near-psychotic approach to improving his game in every way possible and has left an impression on many with a work ethic that seems almost inhuman.
Alan Stein, Jr. witnessed one of Kobe’s workouts first hand.
In 2007, Nike sent Stein out to Los Angeles to work the first-ever Kobe Bryant Skills Academy. At that point in time, Bryant was arguably in the prime of his career with the Lakers and determined to win another ring without Shaquille O’Neal who had just won a title with the Miami Heat alongside Dwyane Wade.
Stein was intrigued by all the talk about how insane Bryant’s individual workouts were and wanted to see for himself. He asked Kobe if he could watch one of these infamous workouts and the then-Lakers guard told him he’d be starting his workout at 4 a.m. Stein, who set his alarm for 3 a.m., wanted to beat Bryant to the gym but was unsuccessful. Kobe was already dripping in sweat with a warm up before his workout was in full swing by the time he arrived.
Stein details his experience in Kobe Bryant: Draw My Life from Whistle Sports:
Although Stein was seemingly impressed by Bryant’s dedication, he was bored to death. Kobe was practicing the basics for 45 minutes. Later that day Stein asked Bryant why he was practicing the basics and Kobe’s response was golden:
“Why do you think I’m the best player in the world? Because I never ever get bored with the basics.”
Among his many individual accolades and the five championships he won as the face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, Bryant’s work ethic was second none during his pursuit to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Along with all the unforgettable performances on the basketball floor, while leading the Lakers over the past two decades, Bryant’s work ethic has become legendary. There have been quite a few stories like Stein’s that have been told over the years about Kobe’s preparation and workouts with much more bound to surface with the future Hall of Famer now retired.