Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has been known for his obsessive approach to the game of basketball. Over the course of a 20-year career, Bryant did everything he could to maximize every ounce of talent that he had.
His workouts were legendary, during which he would push himself to exhaustion and beyond in order to perfectly hone a variety of moves and counter-moves. Bryant studied those who came before him in order to incorporate their skills into his diverse game.
However, Bryant was also meticulous with the mental aspect of the game. He wanted to have every advantage that he possibly could and would sometimes look to unconventional sources to find it.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, who used to be Bryant’s agent, shared a story that should just how determined Bryant was to master his craft:
“There was one time when Kobe, who I worked with for 18 years, was going back to play in Madison Square Garden. And he had just seen ‘The Dark Knight.’ Obviously, you guys saw that movie, and he’s like, ‘Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked in to that role. I want to know how he mentally went there.’ And so, he had dinner with Heath, and he talked about how he locks in for a role. And Kobe used some of that in his game against the Knicks in terms of mental preparation.”
That Bryant turned to an actor in order to get advice on how to become a better basketball player is a perfect encapsulation of who Bryant is. He left no stone unturned in his quest to become the very best that he possibly could be.
Taking a cue from Bryant, the Lakers welcomed Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson to speak to their players as part of their “Genius” series. With a young team trying to find their way in the league, the Lakers are doing all they can to expose them to outside-the-box thinking that may resonate and improve their games.
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