Less than eight months after tearing his Achilles, Kobe Bryant is officially back in the lineup for the Lakers.
Achilles injuries are awful, especially for ageing NBA players.
But work ethic is a crucial factor in overcoming injuries, and no one has a stronger work ethic than Kobe.
Whether it’s waking up at 4 a.m., using space-age science, or abusing teammates in post-practice games, Kobe has proven over and over again that he’s the hardest worker in the NBA.
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 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.'
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.'
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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