On his insane work ethic:
Think you work hard? Check this out!
Rob had worked with some of the other members of the USA basketball team before, but this would be his first interaction with Kobe. It was so powerful, that he shared it with the world on Reddit so everyone could get a glimpse into Kobe Bryant’s insane work ethic.
Here is his story:
"In his first meeting with Kobe, Rob talked about what he specialized in, where Kobe would like to be by the end of summer, and about the hustle of his teammates. Rob then gave Kobe his number and told him to call him any time he wanted to do some extra conditioning work.
Two days later, Kobe woke up Rob with a call at 4:15am in the morning.
“Hey, uhh Rob, I hope I’m not disturbing anything right?”
“Uhh no, what’s up Kobe?”
“Just wondering if you could just help me out with some conditioning work, that’s all.”
“Yeah sure, I’ll see you in the facility in a bit.”
20 minutes later, Rob arrived at the training facility. There he saw Kobe–alone and drenched in so much sweat it looked like he’d just come from a pool. It was not even 5am yet!
The two of them worked on conditioning for about 75 minutes, then did about 45 minutes of weight training.
Then at 7am, Rob went back to his hotel to get some quick rest before the day’s practice. Meanwhile, Kobe went back to the gym to practice his shooting.
Rob was expected back at 11am. So he slept a couple of hours, got a quick breakfast, and then headed back to the gym exhausted and sleep deprived.
When he arrived, he saw all of the members of Team USA there. Lebron was talking to Carmelo, Coach Krzyzewski was explaining something to Kevin Durant and, on the right side of the facility all by himself, Kobe was shooting jumpers.
Rob went up to Kobe and said, “Good work this morning.”
“Like, the conditioning. Good work.”
“Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.”
“So when did you finish?”
“Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?”
“Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes…so yeah, just now.”
Rob’s jaw dropped.
Kobe was drenched in sweat before 5am, worked with Rob on strength and conditioning for 2 hours, then made 800 shots between the hours of 7am and 11am.
And this all took place before practice!
At 34 years of age, with 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards, 2 scoring titles, and soon to be 2 Olympic Gold Medals, Kobe was still waking up before 4am and working out for at least 7 hours before practice even began!"
From ESPN’s Rick Reilly:
“Among a dozen other drills, Bryant does suicide push-ups. At the top of the pushup, he launches himself off the mat so hard that both his feet come off the ground and his hands slap his pecs. He does three sets of seven of these. This makes me turn away and whimper softly.”
Kobe Bryant and the 40-mile bike ride
Interesting tidbit from an article on the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Blake Griffin needs to know if the story is true. Ever since he first heard it last July, he’s been obsessed with it.
“The first night we all got into Las Vegas last summer for the USA Basketball camp, I heard Kobe went on some 40-mile bike ride at night through the desert,” Griffin says. “Forty miles? At night? You think it’s true?”
Before I can answer, Griffin continues:
“When I found out about that bike ride, I was so tempted to ask him if I could go next time.”
This is my favorite part about Kobe: you assume this story is true. Forty miles in the desert? You don’t even question it.
…in this moment, all Griffin wants to talk about is whether or not Kobe Bryant really got on a bike and rode 40 miles through the desert last July.
“I love that stuff,” Griffin says. “I love all those stories.”
The story Griffin heard turns out to be true. And it goes something like this: Bryant told his longtime trainer, Tim Grover, that he wanted to add in bike training to his summer conditioning. Grover researched a trail in Las Vegas, rented three bikes — one for Bryant, one for himself and one for Bryant’s security guard — and on the night before the first day of practice, they each put on headlamps and headed out to the trail and rode.
“We finished up around 2 a.m.” Grover said. “And we were back in the gym working out by 7:30 in the morning.”
And that’s just it. To Blake Griffin, and most of the NBA, these are just stories.
To Kobe Bryant, that’s a Tuesday night.