While Kobe Bryant famously bypassed college in favor of entering the 1996 NBA Draft, legend long had it that he would have attended the University of North Carolina so as to follow in Michael Jordan’s footsteps.
However, Bryant set the record straight and said his university of choice actually would have been Duke. He explained it was due to Dean Smith halting his recruiting process because of Bryant’s likely decision to go pro, whereas Mike Krzyzewski remained in pursuit of the eventual Los Angeles Lakers legend.
The missed opportunity was made up for in some regard when Krzyzewski was named head coach of the USA National Team. Bryant suited up for Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Bryant and Krzyzewski have often raved about their time together, and now the Duke head coach tapped into one of their exchanges as a means of motivating his Blue Devils team.
In an excerpt of “Earn Everything” that is streaming now on ESPN+, Krzyzewski told of Bryant struggling to make stand-still 3-pointers because it was not a shot he was accustomed to taking. Krzyzewski explained in typical Bryant fashion, he tirelessly worked to improve.
The legendary coach delivered the message as a means of motivating his team to become adept at shooting the shot as part of their offense.