The Clippers told Kobe Bryant he’d given them the best workout they’d ever seen, but said they wouldn’t draft him. Kobe asked why:
“They said ‘We want to turn things around with our organization. We felt like if we drafted a 17-year old kid, then the city of Los Angeles wouldn’t take us seriously.’”
By the end of Kobe’s career, he had five rings and the Clippers had never even made it past the second round.
The rest is history, Kobe Bryant became one of the greatest NBA players of all-time and the greatest Laker ever. Two jersey numbers in the rafters at the STAPLES Center prove it. Kobe was able to take over games in ways that not many players could.
His drive to win at any cost helped him succeed on and off the court. An 18-time NBA All-Star, five-time NBA champion and one-time NBA MVP, Kobe tragically passed away on January 26, 2020. Kobe’s game was influenced by Michael Jordan, he never denied it.
Eduardo Solano, from FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM Hopewell and AccuScore, wrote this about Kobe Bryant last year:
“I’ve always been a Chicago Bulls fan but I followed Kobe Bryant’s entire career! Kobe is one of my favorite athletes of all-time and I still can’t process that he is gone.”
Kobe giving the Clippers a great workout isn’t surprising at all, cardio always mattered to him.
“Apart from his mindset, Bryant’s fear of not being good enough and losing gave him an upper hand against his competitors. Kobe never failed to show that he would do anything to win,” Solano said.
Kobe could run all day long. He knew that if someone wants to be a great basketball player, they have to be in great shape. In Kobe Bryant’s book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, he discussed how everyone talks about his fancy workouts and training sessions and then he explained that he worked relentlessly to make sure that his legs and lungs were always at peak performance.
“My cardio workouts centered around recovery—that is, the time it takes to recover in between sprints. The reason I placed an acute focus on that element is because basketball dictates short bursts where you run as fast as you can, then have a moment to recover, then burst again. I wanted to make sure that I would always be ready for the next burst of action.”
Bryant concluded saying that he did a lot of time work on the track. There, he would incrementally decrease the amount of time between each set. Kobe did that until his recovery time would be almost nil after a full offseason.