Kobe Bryant set an infamous record Tuesday night, becoming the all-time leader in missed shots in the NBA. Bryant, of course, had a great response about the record, noting his role and career longevity have played a part in all of his misses.
After the game, Bryant was asked about his approach to the game, being willing to take a lot of shots and live with them if he misses. He defiantly answered “No” when asked if he’s ever been afraid of a moment or game, and then he shared his fantastic philosophy about failing in big moments:
“And I don’t mean to sound cavalier when I say that, but never. It’s basketball. I’ve practiced and practiced and played so many times. There’s nothing truly to be afraid of, when you think about it.”
“No, because I’ve failed before, and I woke up the next morning, and I’m OK,” he said. “People say bad things about you in the paper on Monday, and then on Wednesday, you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ve seen that cycle, so why would I be nervous about it happening?”
When reporters mentioned that Michael Jordan made a commercial about his failures, Bryant noted the similarities. “Yeah, philosophically, it’s exactly the same thing. I grew up watching that stuff, and here I am. His approach to things has been inspirational to a kid growing up watching him.”
It’s not the first time Bryant has been candid about facing failure. In a sit-down with the New York Times, Bryant told how his 11-year old daughter shared a similar feeling about getting over nervousness for maths tests: once it’s done, it’s done. Asked about being afraid to take the big shot at the end of the game, Bryant said, “There’s an infinite groove. Whether you make the shot or miss it is inconsequential.”
It’s good Bryant is OK with missing shots and handling the criticism afterward, unafraid of failure. He’s going to need to keep taking a lot of shots this season, and with another year left on his contract, his record might go unbroken.
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