I've been a professional athletic trainer for about 16 years and have been able to work with a range of athletes from the high school to professional level. Right now I run in a clinic in Cincinnati and have most recently been training with some players on the Bengals.
I've been seeing the videos of Kobe's most recent dunks and the comments you guys have had to share I decided I might as well chime in what I know about the man. And let me just state by saying that this story doesn't touch on anything we don't know about Kobe but rather that he simply is not human when he is working on his craft.
I was invited to Las Vegas this past Summer to help Team USA with their conditioning before they head off to London, and as we know they would eventually bring home the Gold (USA). I've had the opportunity to work with Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade in the past but this would be my first interaction with Kobe. We first met three days before the first scrimmage, on the day of the first practice, early July. It was a brief conversation where we talked about conditioning, where he would like to be by the end of the Summer, and we talked a little bit about the hustle of the Select Team. Then he got my number and I let him know that if he ever wanted some extra training he could hit me up any time.
The night before the first scrimmage I remember I was just watched "Casablanca" for the first time and it was about 3:30 AM. I lay in bed, slowly fading away when I hear my cell ring. It was Kobe. I nervously picked up.
"Hey, uhh Rob, I hope I'm not disturbing anything right?"
"Uhh no, what's up Kob?"
"Just wondering if you could just help me out with some conditioning work, that's all."
I checked my clock. 4:15 AM.
"Yeah sure, I'll see you in the facility in a bit."
It took me about twenty minutes to get my gear and out of the hotel. When I arrived and opened the room to the main practice floor I saw Kobe. Alone. He was drenched in sweat as if he had just taken a swim. It wasn't even 5AM. We did some conditioning work for the next hour and fifteen minutes. Then we entered the weight room, where he would do a multitude of strength training exercises for the next 45 minutes. After that we parted ways and he went back to the practice floor to shoot. I went back to the hotel and crashed. Wow.
I was expected to be at the floor again at about 11 AM. I woke up feeling sleepy, drowsy, and almost pretty much every side effect of sleep deprivation. Thanks, Kobe. I had a bagel and headed to the practice facility.
This next part I remember very vividly. All the Team USA players were there, feeling good for the first scrimmage. LeBron was talking to Carmelo if I remember correctly and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility was Kobe by himself shooting jumpers. And this is how our next conversation went -- I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, "Good work this morning."
"Like, the conditioning. Good work."
"Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it."
"So when did you finish?"
"Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?"
"Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes so yeah, just now."
My jaw dropped. Mother of holy God. It was then that I realized that there's no surprise to why he's been as effective as he was last season. Every story about his dedication, every quote that he's said about hard work all came together and hit me like a train. It's no surprise to me now that he's dunking on players ten years younger than him and it wasn't a surprise to me earlier this year when he led the league in scoring.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to share you my Kobe Bryant story. If anyone has any questions I can clarify. Sorry if the story was at all hard to follow as this is my first time on reddit.
I wish i had that sort of work ethic and dedication in certain areas of my life.
where did you read this? good read. young kids and top prospects with nba dreams should read this. kobe bryant was the number one hs prospect in his hs day. it takes a number one prospect with this kind of dedication and work ethic to be this great.
I actually have some similar stories. My father was part of the Lakers S&C team from 1993-2001 or 2002.
He once said he had to stay at the practice facility helping a player rehabbing from an injury well into the night. An assistant coach Bill Bertka was given the assignment of shutting Kobe down before/after practices because there was concern he was overdoing it and would break down. After they found Kobe coming back to the facility after hours several times on his own, Bill made him give back his key. There was apparently quite the rift between management and Kobe regarding his practice habits and Kobe felt like he wasn't valued. He felt somewhat like he was just a body to them and that they'd lose interest in him if he was hurt. At one point he said something to Jeanie about "if they cant handle me at my worst, they dont deserve me at my best". It got back to Jerry West and there was a sit down to say the least.
Back to the story. My old man is at the facility rehabbing and around 1am Kobe walked down the hall past the training rooms toward the practice court. When he noticed my dad and the player he said "yall didnt see &$#%#&@!" and my dad said Kobe was still at the facility when they left at 230 am. The next day my dad asked Kobe how he got in and Kobe laughed and said "i got my ways". A couple of nights later my dad noticed a sock wedged in between one of the entrances to the building propping the door open. My dad never ratted. Kobe could be proppin with socks to this day. One of my favorites.
from same link as above
that is funny. me and my buddies would stuff tape in the door hole so it would be easy to break in the gym at night and run private full court games for hours during the late night. nobody knew we were there.
Damn, this is crazy, I understand the dedication but the guy can't be human, the one thing I can't understand is how he is so effective on such little sleep, I mean, I'm sleepy as hell with 7 hours of sleep and here this guy is getting 2-3 hours of sleep and playing some of the best basketball in the world.
jordan was the same way. stayed up all night working on his game before kobe did. he also would lift weights before games and still not lose his touch somehow.
Mike and Kobe are super gifted and are unreal. I wonder the samething about how do these guys ever get any sleep.
That's nuts! Kobe is a psycho about basketball, love him or hate him you gotta respect that.
Also id like to see that shooting translate more consistently in games. No doubt he is an excellent shooter but his shot selection isquestionable. He's been really inconsistent from three for the majority of his career but I guess he is more of a slasher and still doing it at 34 with all those throwback dunks this year
When you find out information like this, it doesn't surprise you that this guy is in his 17th year and still doing what he's doing.
I don't really like Kobe the person, but I admire his dedication and focus to his craft. You rarely come across a supremely gifted player who's also an overachiever.
Sleep is the cousin of death.