For the current generation of NBA stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kobe Bryant is sort of like their Michael Jordan, the preeminent winner and perennial MVP candidate they grew up watching.
And although he had a reputation as being cut-throat as a player, Bryant has been open to passing on his knowledge since retiring, just as Jordan and others did for Bryant and his generation.
Some, including current Los Angeles Lakers, have already taken Bryant up on his offer, and it’s a group Antetokounmpo wants to join.
He not only is hopeful to work out with the five-time champion, but Antetokounmpo also wants to learn about the drive and mindset that allowed Bryant to be so great, per Eric Nehm of ESPN:
“Not to just go out there and workout for two or three weeks, but to grab a dinner and see the way his mind thinks,” Antetokounmpo said. “To see if I’m on the right path.
“It’s all about how he thinks. It’s about how they think, how the greats think. How they think about the game. I want to see how he thinks about the game, how he sees the game, how he would play today, would he change something about the way he plays. Obviously, he’s watched me play, and hopefully he can give me some tips.”
Bryant wasn’t just one of the game’s greatest players, but one of its most legendarily fierce competitors as well, so Antetokounmpo wanting to learn how to get to that level and use it to fuel his growth makes sense.
Bryant has also shown a willingness to challenge Antetokounmpo already, and might be the perfect taskmaster to bring his game to the next level.
If Antetokounmpo can learn how to be as obsessive at eliminating his own weaknesses as Bryant was, then he’ll be even more unguardable than he already is now. And if that happens, eventually stars may be begging to train with him.
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