Kobe Bryant always seemed like the most confident player when he was on the court. It seemed as though nothing or no one could deter Kobe or shake his belief in himself. This confidence allowed him to become one of the greatest players in NBA history, and a true legend of the game.
But what was the key to this success? According to Bryant himself, it goes back to when he was a young boy. During a summer tournament, Bryant didn't play well at all and scored 0 points throughout the tournament. Kobe was crushed, but words of love and encouragement from his father gave him the confidence to feel as though he could do anything.
“Here I come playing, and I don’t score one point the entire summer. Not one. (I was) 10,11. I was in the game… Because I was terrible! I remember crying about it and being upset about and my father just gave me a hug and said ‘listen, whether you score 0 or you score 60, I’m gonna love you no matter what’. Now that is the most important thing that you can say to a child. Because from there I was like ‘Okay, that gives me all the confidence in the world to fail’. I have the security there. But, to hell with that, I’m scoring 60!”
The funny thing about this story is how we saw it play out in Kobe's incredible NBA career. In his first NBA game, Bryant scored 0 points in the few minutes he played coming off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers. And in his final game, he actually scored 60 points as he walked away from professional basketball.
These words of love and encouragement from his father were crucial for Kobe Bryant, as they made him unafraid of the big moments. And as a result, he was able to take chances, and those chances paid off. Bryant walked away from the game as one of the greatest to ever play it. And without what his father said, that may not have happened.