Here’s the full text of Kobe Bryant Speech Transcript titled “The Mindset of a Winner”
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Kobe Bryant Speech Transcript:
Kobe Bryant – Basketball Player
You really want me on the team, what’s your approach to recruit me?
You want first place, come play with me… you want second place go somewhere else. It’s like, I would watch Magic play I’d watch Michael play and I would see them do these unbelievable things and I’d say, “you know, can I get to that level? I don’t know but let’s find out.”
Everything was done to try to learn how to become a better basketball player. Everything everything. And so when you have that point of view then literally the world becomes your library to help you to become better at your craft. So because you know what you want the world’s giving you exactly the information 100% because you know what you’re looking for.
So many guys tell stories about your work ethic – Yeah – what was really your work ethic like? And for how long did you stay disciplined? Umm, well, I mean I mean every day, I mean since, you know, 20 years. It was an everyday process and trying to figure out strengths and weaknesses.
For example, jumping ability Man, my vertical was a 40, it wasn’t a 46 or 45 My hands are big but they’re not massive. Right, so you got to figure out ways to strengthen them so your hands are strong enough to be able to palm a ball and do the things that you need to do. Quickness. I was quick but not insanely quick. I was fast but not ridiculously fast.
Right, so I had to… rely on skill a lot more. I had to rely on angles a lot more. I had to study the game a lot more. And… But I enjoyed that though. So like from the time I was… I can’t remember when I started watching the game I studied the game, and it just never changed. It’s a good separation for me, you know, emotionally to be able to put myself in a place where at practice or when I’m training or during games I switch my mind to something else.
I switch my mode into something else. Right, for me, It’s the equivalent of… Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator picking up the dirt, smelling the dirt it’s go time. So that was my mental switch. Getting ready for a film. You got to put yourself in that cage, when you’re in that cage you are that character. Then when you leave there it’s something completely different. But when I’m in that cage, bro, don’t touch me, don’t talk to me Please leave me alone. How did you get mentally and emotionally so strong where it doesn’t bother you? Well, you know, it’s-you got to look at the reality of the situation.
You know, like for me it’s not, you know… you kind of got to get over yourself. It’s not about you man. Like okay, you feel embarrassed. You’re not that important, like… get over yourself. – Yeah, that’s where you go. – Get over yourself. Right? Like you’re worried about how people may perceive you and like you’re walking around and it’s embarrassing because you shot 5 air balls. Get over yourself, right?
And then after that, it’s okay. Well, why did those air balls happen? Got it. High school, year before, we play 35 games max. Right? Week in between, spaced out plenty of time to rest. In the NBA it’s back to back to back to back to back to back to back I didn’t have the legs. So you look at the shot, every shot was on line. Every shot was on line but every shot was short. Right? I got to get stronger. I got to train differently.
The weight training program that I’m doing, I got to tailor it for an 82-game season. So that when the playoffs come around my legs are stronger and that ball gets there. So I look at it with rationale and say okay well, the reason why I shot air balls is because my legs aren’t there. I go oh, well, next year they’ll be there. – That was it. – Done. Done. Were there some names that you looked at and says, these three guys are as crazy as I am? I do, at the time I’d deal with what I’d refer to as Goat mountain.
I went to Goat mountain and I talked to Magic, Michael, Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Jerry West, Oscar Robinson, Bill Russell. You know, so I would talk to them. What did you do? What were your experiences? Michael in particular, he’s become my big brother. He’s been my big brother since I first came in the league. And what was that process like? So I went to them and started understanding the ins and outs of the game.
And you know, how they approach things and their level of detail and obsessiveness and… that’s what I did. The players that had that passion but weren’t willing to commit their entire lives to doing that. Right, it’s a choice. Right? You have other things, you have family, you have all these other things that you have to do.
The game can’t really be your number one priority. And so I was just looking at that like man, this is going to be fun. If I’m buddies with you from high school, if I’m a cousin of yours what happened to our relationship? How did that gravitate when you went into the league and you’re… you’re determined to become the greatest or you’re determined to become one of the greatest – what happens to our relationship? –
Oh, it suffers. – It does suffer?
– Oh, yeah. – Okay. – Yeah. And you understood that, you were okay with that?
Well yeah, and the people that love you like friends and family, like they know that about you. Got it. So they let you be you and when you reconvene you know, you pick back up where you left off but make no mistake about it everything in between is lost. Right. so those long-term relationships the commitment of time of… you know, of taking.. Like I see a lot of players take vacations with other players that are close friends and or just take vacations just to take vacations or just hang out just to hang out like I- I’m not.. I never did that.
But it was a choice. – Why- why didn’t you do that?
Well, because when I retire, I didn’t want to have to say “I wish I would have done more.” I don’t want that. You know, I don’t want that. You know, you got a lot of people paying their hard earned money to come watch you perform. Perform. Perform. It’s your job to be in shape. It’s your job to be strong enough to perform at that level every single night. And as a competitor, I’m not, I’m not ducking stuff Like, it’s not, “Oh my God, oh my back hurts, I’m sore. We got to play Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors tonight.”
We actually had this happen, we had a game against Toronto in 2000 and Vince was tearing the league up. My back was jacked. Jacked. But like the perception of that, like what? Kobe’s missing a game against Toronto, Vince Carter because.. my back was really spasming. But people would look at me like, “What, Oh, he’s ducking Vince.” Excuse me? No, I don’t think so. So I would be in the layup line like Ok, there’s a lot of days where, you know, you can rest and recover. Today ain’t one of them. Your back can bother you any other day that- it ain’t bothering me today. He going- he going to have to see me today. – Yeah. – My man. – Yeh I know.
If you’re looking at a big investment you’ve got to make, what is the decision making process there? Do you call? Is there.. first you do your own research, you take this much time you call an adviser. – Is there, is there a system you follow?
It’s pretty- pretty simple to me It’s, it’s do you understand the business? Is it a business that you can help in some form or fashion What are the barriers of entry to that business? And then the entrepreneurs themselves. The company itself. Do they have a culture that you believe is sustainable? Are these leaders people that you believe in? Or they people that are obsessives? And in turn, have they created a culture of obsessiveness?
So I tend to look at those 4 factors and that’s it. That’s big right there, by the way, I don’t know if you guys caught that right. That’s pretty massive right there. Same determination, what’s your current work schedule look like today?
It’s- it’s… it’s different because I personally am not writing every word of the novels. I am not animating the films. What I have to do now is make sure that the people that we bring in, these obsessives that we bring in are challenging themselves to do the best job that they think they can do that’s what I’m there for. Is for them to constantly look in the mirror and self assess and challenge themselves.
If we have a project, and you’re saying, “Okay, I can do that.” that’s not the project we want. The projects that say, I don’t know if I can animate that. I don’t know how to write that story. I don’t know how to do that. Those are the things we want because through that curiosity you’ll reach a level that you didn’t think was possible.
And so, running the studio that’s what I’m doing. You’re playing against the Golden State Warriors score is 107-109 you guys are close to getting into the playoffs. You know exactly what happens in the game you go up, you’re about to take your shot and then all of a sudden – boom – Yeah Your Achilles happens. right?
He went and hit the free throws and then you walked off the stage – Yeah – and you got the surgery done. Right. I went in the trainer’s room and my kids are in there and you know, they’re looking at you and stuff and I’m looking at them and I’m like, you know, “It’s alright, dad’s going to be alright. It’ll be fine. It’ll be alright, it’ll be alright, it’ll be alright.”
As a parent you got to set the example. You got to set the example. This-this is another obstacle. This obstacle cannot define me. It’s not going to cripple me. It’s not going to be responsible for me stepping away from the game that I love. I’m going to step away on my own terms. And that’s when the decision was made that you know what? I’m doing it. I’m doing it.
– Kobe Bryant
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