Perhaps Bryant’s greatest trait is his work ethic. No matter what the circumstance of the previous season, it seems as if Bryant has little to no off season during the summer. This work ethic has allowed for Bryant to adapt to the changes in not only his body but also the league.
Take for instance Bryant’s post play, similar to Jordan during the Bulls’ second 3-peat, Bryant adapted to the mileage that has caused for his hops to not be what they once were. Bryant has bulked up, adding the muscle necessary to play physical against some of the strongest players in the game on the low block. This is evident just by looking at the size of Bryant over the years.
Bryant has also furthered his excellence on the low-block by going so far as to reach out to Hakeem Olajuwon for input on some low post moves. With the addition of a low post game second to none, Bryant’s hard work has made him one of the most complete scorers of all time.
This is merely one example of Bryant’s dedication to the game he loves, as Kobe has been fine tuning his game for his entire career. Since his rookie season in 1996 Bryant has transformed himself from a scrawny kid who could leap out of the gym to a player who can score from anywhere on the court, making him one of the all time greats in the process.
By now we have all heard the stories of Kobe hoisting up thousands of shots a day and arriving at the gym during hours that most are sleeping. Essentially teaching himself a picture perfect jump shot. This is one of the major reasons why Bryant has been such a force in the game for so long, despite a drop in his athleticism. His ability to hit nearly any shot, despite multiple defenders, more than makes up for the athletic decrease in his game.
The results of this are 40 point games, spectacular shots and most importantly championships. Many NBA players talk the talk when it comes to improving in the offseason, Kobe simply walks the walk.
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