How Allen Iverson dropping 41 on him taught Kobe Bryant about preparation

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Kobe Bryant’s reputation as a guy who studied the game and had coach-like preparation was well deserved. When teammates were playing Bourré and gambling on the plane, Kobe was back with the coaches watching film. That’s how he was wired.

Allen Iverson taught him that lesson.

Bryant joined CBS Radio’s Jim Rome on his podcast, and among the stories Kobe discussed was what Iverson taught him — Iverson dropped 41 and 10 on Bryant back in 1999.

“That put him on my permanent radar. Now he’s my obsession. I’m going to figure him out. This is never happening again. I kept the stat sheet. It just sat with me. From that point forward I read everything about him. I watched every game he played…Sometimes you have those moments where great players bring the best out of you. And he certainly did that for me because he helped me find another gear of preparation.”

Kobe was always a perfectionist. This taught him about obsession — and that served him well.

Kobe also discussed how winning the Oscar was thrilling in compared to winning an NBA title — he had only expected one of those things.

Winning a championship, I expected to do that. Going into Indiana, Shaq being hurt, me trying to have to finish this game here at 21-years-old, I dreamt of doing that. I felt comfortable, I felt confident that I could absolutely execute that. And writing “Dear Basketball” and producing that film, I didn’t know if I could do it. I’m not known to be a writer, let alone be a producer on a project with Glen Keane and John Williams. I was unsure of myself, man. And when you take a leap of faith to that extent to be rewarded at the highest level of the industry for our first project out, it’s beyond comprehension.”