And, he has done quite well at that, being a part of five NBA championship teams in his illustrious career. So, the other day when he was asked about being ranked the 93rd in ESPN’s list of the best 100 players in the NBA, The Black Mamba wasn’t having it: “Please don’t ask me about silly stuff like that.”
Guys who are about winning championships aren’t driven by media rankings, social media memes, getting on ESPN, and what media analysts think. They know that if you win titles, all the accolades and benefits that come with winning will follow.
They are driven by winning.
Now, consider how Bryant, a first ballot Hall of Famer when he retires, could care less about being ranked 93rd. Then…. think about Houston point guard Ty Lawson getting involved in saying who is ‘elite’, and who is not.
The kind of stuff Lawson worries about doesn’t even get on Bryant’s radar.
Here is how Bryant works. In 2011, after shooting the ball poorly in a Lakers’ loss at Miami, Bryant actually went back on the court, after the game and working out for an hour and half. Bryant put up hundreds of shots and even enlisted Heat ball boys to rebound balls for him.
He stayed in the Miami Heat arena shooting and going through drills until he felt good about his shot again. On that very same night teammates of his sent posts from the South Beach hot spots. There is absolutely nothing wrong with guys going to get some dinner and even hanging out after a game _ even a loss.
But Bryant had another agenda. He felt his game wasn’t good enough after a bad shooting night. So, he went the extra mile to fix it. Not everyone is going to go that far. Of course, not everyone can be called one of the greatest players in the history of the game either.