After 17 years in the NBA, Kobe Bryant is still one of the best players in the league.
And there’s one reason why — his insane work ethic.
Even after going down with a devastating Achilles injury at the end of the 2012-2013 season, Kobe kept working, and now he says he’s way ahead of schedule on his recovery. In fact, he says he “shattered” the timetable for recovery from his surgery, and that he should be back for preseason instead of missing games well into the 2013-2014 season.
But that’s just Kobe for you.
We picked out our favourite Kobe stories that illustrate just how hard he works.
They include marathon workouts, playing teammates to 100 after practice, and refusing to eat the junk food he loves the most.
Kobe has never been out of shape, but he decided to change himself as a precautionary measure. He told the Guardian:
'With summer basketball leading directly into the season -- and I'm expecting to play until next June -- I have to take some load off my knees. I've got to shave some of this weight.'
Shaq wrote in his book:
'You'd walk in there and he'd be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting -- except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I'm pretty sure it helped him.'
Source: LA Times
From ESPN's Rick Reilly:
'Among a dozen other drills, Bryant does suicide push-ups. At the top of the pushup, he launches himself off the mat so hard that both his feet come off the ground and his hands slap his pecs. He does three sets of seven of these. This makes me turn away and whimper softly.'
He had Nike shave a few millimeters off the bottom of his shoes in 2008 to get 'a hundredth of a second better reaction time'
He has eliminated sugar and pizza and only eats lean meat.
He told ESPN:
'There aren't really any supplements that I'm taking from that perspective. What I've done really is just train really hard and watch my diet. I think that's the thing that catches guys most. They don't do self assessing.'
This quote from an NBA scout in 2008: 'Allen Iverson loves to play when the lights come on. Kobe loves doing the s--- before the lights come on.'
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This quote about how he wants to be remembered: 'To think of me as a person that's overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange that I could.'
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