When you are about to enter your eighteenth NBA season and have five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, one regular season MVP, 15 All-Star Games. 11 first team All-NBA selections, and rank fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, it can become difficult to find motivation to go through the grind of an NBA season.
But that’s what separates Kobe Bryant from everyone else. While on his annual Nike tour in China, where he is more beloved than any athlete not named Yao Ming, he was asked in an interview what motivates him, and the answer was a simple one.
As in six championship rings, which obviously would tie him with Michael Jordan, of whom he has constantly been compared to throughout his NBA career.
Most fans today would laugh at this statement, believing the Laker’s championship window has already closed. With the offseason the Lakers have had, plus the unknown of Kobe’s recovery from his Achilles injury, some wonder whether the Lakers will even match the 45 wins they got last year.
But these are the things that motivate the Black Mamba. He is always up for a challenge:
I’m excited about this upcoming year because there are a lot of question marks, a lot of people doubting and giving us challenges […] That’s the exciting part about it, facing those type of challenges. That’s what excites me, that’s what excites us going into the season. We know, just like in anything, it doesn’t matter how many star players you have as long as you have a group of players that play well together and are focused on getting to the common goal together. That’s really what matters the most.
It looks like Kobe is more optimistic than most about the Lakers roster. And if he has anything to say about it, he’ll be shattering the expectations of fans and media who doubt what The Mamba is capable of.