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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Drops Truth Bomb On Kobe Bryant Holding The Record For Most Missed Shots In NBA History: "To Me, It Means He Wasn’t Intimidated By Missing, By Losing, By Failure..."

Kobe Bryant

As one of the greatest basketball players the earth has ever seen, Kobe Bryant achieved great success in his NBA career, capturing 5 championships, an MVP, and 15 All-NBA selections.

But Kobe also holds the record for what appears to be a horrible statistic: missed shots. With 14,481 duds in his career, Bryant is at the top of the list in terms of most misses by a player in league history.

For Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the mark isn't a detriment to Bryant or his legacy. On the contrary, it's actually something he views as a positive to his overall record:

(via Substack)

Many other tributes will discuss his impressive list of basketball accolades, awards, and statistics. You can go to Wikipedia if you’re interested. Or a sports bar. There’s only one Kobe statistic that fascinates me. Kobe twice led the NBA in scoring and in 2006 he scored 81 points in a single game, putting him right behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. But those aren’t the stats I’m interested in.

This is: Kobe Bryant missed the most career field goals in NBA history. He missed 14,481 times.

To me, that statistic is the foundation of his greatness as an athlete—and one of the reasons our affection for the man transcends our admiration for the athlete.

Let me explain: Some people—not just athletes—are motivated in life by the fear of losing. They strive and hustle and push because they don’t want to fail. That fear of failure is often rooted in anxiety about how they will look to others. They see themselves only as they are reflected in others’ eyes.

However, the great ones are driven not to win but to exceed their own expectations. The goal is to strive to reach one’s fullest potential—and sometimes push beyond what even they imagined that potential might be. Winning is not the goal, it’s a happy by-product.

Kobe Bryant holds the record for most missed shots in NBA history. To some that’s a bad thing. To me, it means he wasn’t intimidated by missing, by losing, by failure. He didn’t hesitate by worrying, “What if I miss? What will the coaches think? The team? The fans?” He acted like the ultimate competitor: he took the shot.

Kobe Bryant was never driven by the things he couldn't do. He always believed in himself, in his game, and was never afraid of the moment, even amid a rough shooting night or poor overall game.

Obviously, that's a great contrast to some players, who let fear dictate the decisions they make on the basketball floor -- or players who put personal stats and accolades above a win.

In truth, Bryant set the example for athletes all around the globe, and his approach to life continues to be admired years after his passing.