Kobe Bryant Got his Toughness from Michael Jackson

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.”

Tags: Joe "Jellybean" Bryant Kobe Bryant Michael Jackson

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  • Lauren Trainor

    Mr. Shellcroft: ‘Bout fell off my chair with your request
    to hold the jokes. Fair and straightforward article. It’s not too far a stretch to believe that a hugely talented 18 year old basketball player would learn about
    dedication and relentless determination from a another
    perfectionist in his own field. Kudos to Kobe for giving
    credit where due.

    People blessed with special talents earn respect by
    developing those talents to the max and both these men
    did that in their respective fields.

    • Chris Shellcroft


      Thanks for the comment. What is sad is that in this day and age we tend to ignore talent and only see the headlines. Michael was a one of a kind talent and he got to the top through hard work. KB24 is no different.

      After it is all said and done, Kobe will be the last of his kind much like Michael. So few players are as focused as Kobe just as so few musicians are as determined as Michael was.

      One all-time great learning from another. I can already see these scenes in the Kobe Bryant movie.

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