There is a new era of NBA players beginning to emerge recently. As players like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan end their careers, new stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Damian Lillard are starting to move to the forefront. One of the most intriguing players in the NBA, however, is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo has quickly emerged as one of the best young all-around players in the NBA and after the Bucks and Lakers squared off last season, his head coach Jason Kidd set up a meeting between him and Kobe.
In an interview with the Greek network OTEtv (as transcribed by Brew Hoop), Antetokoumpo says that he could tell Kobe was extremely serious about everything he was telling him:
“I remember in that meeting, when Kobe was talking he said to me, “My friend, when I was working I was working for 8 hours each day, I was shooting a thousand shots per day.” When I was hearing him saying those words, looking into my eyes I knew that he did those things, I knew it immediately. You could feel that wasn’t him saying bulls**t just to impress you.”
Antetokounmpo added that Kobe also spoke about how important the summer is to a player:
“He pointed out also how important a summer is for a player. He said in the summer I need to work as hard as possible and be as exhausted as possible and get used to it , so when I am playing during the regular season the exhaustion wouldn’t be visible.”
Kobe’s work ethic is well known throughout NBA circles, and if someone with Antetokoumpo’s skill level puts in the work that Kobe did, he will become one of the most unguardable players in the NBA.
The Lakers’ young players seem to have adopted that mindset as well, especially in regards to the summer. Players like D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. have been constants at the Lakers practice facility this off-season and they should see the results of that hard work pay off once the season begins.