Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were the deadliest scorers in the league during their prime. They exchanged buckets every time they faced off and built a strong relationship off the court.
However, it seems like they handled the offseason quite differently, as T-Mac enjoyed playing pickup basketball to stay in shape during the summer, while Kobe pretty much locked himself out in the gym to work on his craft and fundamentals.
Needless to say, their careers had pretty different outcomes, as Kobe turned out to be a 5-time NBA Champion while McGrady never won an NBA title.
And while most of T-Mac’s tough luck is also due to injury, he recently acknowledged that Kobe once advised him to ditch pickup basketball and work on his skills instead:
“Don’t play pickup ball. Work on your skills and I promise you that sh!t is going to pay off. You go play pickup ball, you’re going to get a few shots here, when you could go and work on your skills every day and put up 500 to 1000 shots,” Kobe told McGrady, according to his latest interview with ‘All The Smoke’.
That was just the kind of mentality Kobe Bryant ever had and preached. It was never enough work for him, there was always something that needed to get better. There were no days off, simple as that.
People will often talk about how Kobe was tough to his teammates and how some superstars didn’t want to play with him but honest to God, how could you challenge the man’s mindset when he put together one of the greatest careers in basketball history?
And, just like he did with McGrady, Kobe always tried to mentor and carry the greatest players under his wing. That’s why his legacy will live on forever.