Before the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Boston Celtics this past Wednesday, Isaiah Thomas was able to sit down with Kobe Bryant for a conversation he won’t soon forget. Thomas was hoping to get a jersey signed and possibly get to know Bryant a little better.
Fortunately for Thomas, Kobe was more than willing to give him some advice in a 20-minute conversation, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:
“But he came and sat down and talked, just me and him, for like 20 minutes,” Thomas said Friday. “It was probably the best talk I’ve ever had.”
Apparently, Bryant advised Thomas to approach the game like a lion pursues his prey by not letting anything distract him. Thomas was so blown away by the advice from the five-time NBA champion gave him and said it’ll stick with him for the rest of his life, via Himmelsbach:
“He told me this story about how a lion seeks food, whatever he’s gonna kill and eat,” Thomas said. “And you know how many bugs are on the lion’s eyes and gnats on his body? He’s so locked in on that zebra that he doesn’t get distracted by anything else. He said if you get distracted by little things, then you’re not as locked in as you think you are. He said for me to be a lion, and that’s gonna stick with me the rest of my life.”
Thomas is one of many young players around the league that has benefited Bryant’s advice. Unlike in years past, Kobe has been more than willing to share his thoughts with the media, peers and teammates. That trend will likely continue for the rest of his final season with the Lakers.
After missing Friday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bryant is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns. Kobe has let it be known that he intends to play as many games as possible on his farewell tour, but has dealt with a sore shoulder as of late.