Numerous current and former NBA players have shared various stories about Kobe Bryant.
NBA Champion turned NBA analyst Brendan Haywood recently shared a story about the Lakers legend. The Lakers failed to make the plays during the 2004-05 season. Apparently it didn’t take Bryant long to get back to work in the offseason.
“So, it’s right after the season, and it’s still early on. It’s like May, and my man from Nike is like, “ay, man, when are you going to start working out? And Kobe is like, what do you mean? I’m already working out. I’m not going to let what happened last year happen again. He’s like, man, and you got all this time; you can just chill. Kobe hit him with a straight face and said, “ I can’t chill. Because if I don’t put everything into what I have… I would be cheating God because he gave all this,” Haywood recently shared with Max Van Auken and Ryan Hollin on IG Live.
“That’s where he was mentally…That man said I would be cheating God because he gave me all this. So, he said when are you going to start working out? Tonight!”
Haywood was part of that Mavericks team that swept the Lakers and Bryant in the 2011 Playoffs on their way to the franchise’s first NBA Championship. They also shut the door, and the Lakers’ chances to repeat as champions ended Phil Jackson’s coaching career. After game four Bryant shared, “You got to put the credit in the right place, which is in the Mavs locker room. They played extremely well. They executed extremely well, they executed their spacing was excellent they shot the ball extremely well…”
“Their depth hurt us, and every night was another player stepping up and performing and making big plays. The credit belongs with them.”
The Lakers would not win another championship until almost ten years later, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way in 2020.