Many of you might have always wondered just where Kobe Bryant got his patented mental toughness from. Was it his father, pro ball player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant? Some of it, sure. Was it during his days of scrapping with NBA vets as a skinny 17-year-old rookie? Yeah, a little.
Or…was it Michael Jackson? Survey says…yes. The King of Pop was instrumental in molding Bryant’s mental approach.
Bryant recently opened up to Yahoo! NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski about his interactions with Jackson.
“It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson.”
Save your jokes, we’ve heard them all. For KB24 this was serious business and he took it as such.
“That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes.
“It’s from Michael Jackson.”
Jackson’s success is unquestioned. He was a revolutionary force in the music world that had an undeniable voice and an irresistible talent. One can see how Mamba would draw many comparisons to where he wanted to be in the NBA scheme of things after it is all said and done.
And while his journey is far from done, Bryant still has the singular Michael Jackson inspired focus he entered the league with.
“Guys have voices now, want to build brands. I don’t identify with it, but I understand where it’s going, why it’s going there. That’s not for me. I focus on one thing and one thing only – that’s trying to win as many championships as I can.”