Jackson told the story of arranging a first meaningful meeting between Bryant and Michael Jordan in the 2000-01 season, which was filled with Kobe-driven friction after the first championship the previous season. Jackson’s goal was for the learned Jordan to get the eager Bryant “to understand he didn’t have to stray outside the offense” and the Zen idea to “wait till the game presents itself.”
Jackson said Bryant’s first comment to Jordan, however, was: “I can take you one-on-one.” via.
May 29, 2010 - The guys from TNT after Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
Charles: “Ernie, you see that shot there? You see that shot?!”
Reggie: “There’s only one other guy that can make those shots and he’s retired right now, making Hanes commercials…”
Charles: “You know what, I gotta tell you something. These are shots you just, ‘let’s make him shoot this’. Ernie that, that’s just greatness. There’s no other word for it… That, all those shots were great defended, great defense. But you can’t stop greatness.”
Reggie: “Ey, didn’t you say there was only Western Diamondbacks around here?”
Charles: “Oh, there was a Black Mamba in Arizona.”
Kenny: “Well see, that’s why he’s the Mariano Rivera of basketball. He’s the best closer in the game and usually that signifies who’s the best player in the game.”
“The first time I began to understand why he was the best was in the pre-season. In a game against the Wizards, Kobe broke the wrist on his shooting hand. He was always the first person to practice every day, arriving at least an hour and a half early. This would infuriate me because I wanted to be the first person to practice, just as I had always been at Villanova and Piscataway High in New Jersey. To add insult to injury, I lived only 10 minutes from the practice facility — while Kobe was at least 35 minutes away. I am ashamed to say that I was excited the day after his injury because I knew that there was no way that No. 8 (as former Laker point guard Tyronn Lue called him) would be the first to practice, if he would even be there at all. As I walked through the training room, I became stricken with fear when I heard a ball bouncing. No, no, it couldn’t be! Yes it could. Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left. ” —John Celestand
“In the third quarter I hit Sessions for an open shot , Blake for an open shot, Matt Barnes for an open shot … pretty much on successive possessions. And they missed all three of them. And uh, I think George (Karl) being as observant as he is, saw I was pissed and didn’t think I was going to trust them at the end of the game to knock down those shots. But you know, they stepped up and knocked them down.”
Kobe Bryant at age 11 guarding a large man in an exhibition game in Italy.
“There are certain kinds of people that are purely driven. I can tell who they are simply by looking at them. I have faced so much criticism for my drive that at times it has alienated me from the majority: the people who are comfortable with second place, the people who hate against me because I am not. You know these kinds of people; they are the ones who fear winning, the jealous ones who envy and try to sabotage. They are the people who have been telling me I couldn’t win all my life. Many times my drive to succeed has put me on an island all by myself because no one understood me, or they chose to misunderstand me. They chose to portray me as being something that I was not. I have learned that it is OK for me to be me, and what being me entails. It means that I will not rest; I will not sleep, relax, relent or be satisfied until my goals have been met, the challenges answered and my doubters silenced. I will not give in to my foes; I won’t let down my teammates. I won’t stop inspiring those who look up to me or stop giving motivation to those who motivate me. I will not back off until I’m back on top, back in the place where they say I could never be again.” — Kobe Bryant
I now remember why I loved him.
"The wrist is feeling stronger, feeling more comfortable. It’s just motivation. Nobody wants to hear about a bad wrist as being the reason why I had a bad game. Nobody wants to hear excuses."