Kobe Bryant has passed Michael Jordan for third on the NBA all-time scoring list. He took the time to write about this in the latesst column of the Players’ Tribune (where professional athletes write their own columns).
It’s as Kobe as you can get:
I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit. So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.
It became an obsession. I learned everything about the game, the history, the players, the fundamentals. I wasn’t just determined to never have a summer of zero again, I was driven to inflict the same sense of failure on my competition as they unknowingly inflicted on me. My killer instinct to score was born.
Twenty-four years later, I pass my muse.
Thank you all for your love and support, it is much appreciated, even if the villain in me refuses to acknowledge it all the time.
“Mamba out.” Of course, he would sign off like that.
While Kobe is as villainous and as biting as they come when it comes to interviews, there is a corniness to the guy (which I actually personally enjoy, being as I’m pretty corny myself). You don’t really expect Kobe to sign off with ANYTHING other than “Mamba out.” After all, he gave HIMSELF the nickname “Black Mamba”, never mind that the name Kobe is really cool as is.
But, hey, corny or not, he’s the dude that passed Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list. Love him or hate him, you got to respect the guy.
Kobe Bryant picture courtesy of Getty Images. H/T to John Canton.