Kobe Bryant is arguably one of the best players to have ever played the game. With 5 rings to his name, Kobe will most likely go down as a top 10 player of all time. While there are many crazy Kobe Bryant stories out there, here are 3 of the craziest ones.
King of One on One
As number 3 on the NBA all-time scoring list, Kobe was known for his complete offensive and isolation package. Because of this, Kobe was seen as the greatest one-on-one player in the league. When a reporter asked Kobe if anyone has beaten him one-on-one, he responded, “No one. That’s what I do”. He has beaten a ton of people, including Reggie Miller, Caron Butler, and Grant Hill. Needless to say. If that is not enough, perhaps you should ask J.R. Rider:
Per The Players’ Tribune:
Brian Shaw: “J.R. had been a star in Minnesota and Portland. He was the go-to scorer. He also had played some really good games against the Lakers. So he came in with a lot of confidence. […] So one day in practice, J.R. says to Kobe, ‘Don’t get it twisted. I’m a star too, and I used to give you buckets.’ […] So Kobe says, ‘Man, you really think you could take me? Alright, after practice, me and you. One-on-one.’ […] J.R. says, ‘O.K., I ain’t no punk. Let’s go.’”
Shaw: “They played to 10 by ones. Kobe just absolutely destroyed him.”
Ron Harper: “Kobe destroyed him.”
Shaw: “This is 22-year-old Kobe. Crazy athletic. Unlimited stamina. I mean, he kicked his ass. He pulled out everything in his bag — dunk, up-and-under, pull-up, crossover.”
Harper: “Guys were waving shite towels, yelling, ‘Stop the beat down!’”
Devean George: “When Kobe finished him off, it was almost like, Man, why did you have to do him like that? […] The sideline was in disbelief. You have to understand; this was a guy who put up numbers in the league. This wasn’t a benchwarmer. J.R. was a super-talented player. But Kobe got into some kind of zone and just went crazy. No, he went berserk on J.R.”
Horace Grant: “It got to a point where J.R. basically said, No más. No más.”
Inhumane Work Ethic
Now we have probably all heard of Kobe Bryant and his early morning workouts, but something to really take into consideration is what Shaq wrote in his book, “Shaw Uncut”. He stated, “Sometimes he’d be working on his moves without the ball,” O’Neal wrote. “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.” Kobe spent hours working on moves without a ball! The amount of discipline and focus required to do this is almost unprecedented by any athlete. But this is who Kobe Bryant is. A student of the game who did everything it took to win.
To be good at trash talking, not only do you have to be able to back it up, but you also can’t fear to talk trash to certain people. This was evident in Kobe when he made a trip to the White House. After the Lakers won their second consecutive title in 2010, President Obama said to Kobe, “Derrick Rose may have your number”. Kobe’s response? “If he calls that number,” he said, “I’ll be sure to pick it up after the fifth ring”. What crazy confidence to be able to say this to the President of the United States!