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#272 Kobe Bryant (The Life)
October 19th, 2022 | E272

What I learned from reading Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby.  


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[9:15] Notes from The Redeem Team documentary:

30 seconds into the first practice Kobe is diving for loose balls. That set the tone.

Players go clubbing. Come back at 5:30am and see Kobe working out. "This motherfucker Kobe was already drenched in sweat. Yeah he’s different"— LeBron James. By the end of the week the whole team was on Kobe’s schedule.

Understand the responsibility. I know I’m not going to fucking lose. I am not going to fucking lose. Not when I’m wearing this (team USA jersey) and not at this time in my career. You’re going to have to fucking shoot me. That’s how I want you to play. — Coach K

At one point you will have a grandkid on your lap and they will ask you weren’t you in the Olympics ? What did you do? You wanna say: Well son, we lost to that fucking Greek team? —Coach K

When you’re in the Olympic village you're around people who are the best in the world at what they do. That is more special that celebrities in LA because this is athlete to athlete — I understand what they put their body through to get here. There’s so much respect and mutual admiration. —Kobe

What Kobe told team USA going into the 4th quarter: Just think about the play in front of you.

[12:07] At every turn his declarations of future greatness have been met with head shaking and raised eyebrows.

[14:33]  It's almost like Kobe's insane level of dedication was like compensation for the bad decision making of his father.

[15:15] 4 parts to Kobe’s blueprint:

Master the fundamentals

Improve your weaknesses

Study the greats


[15:12] Listening to Founders is like watching game tape of history's greatest entrepreneurs.

[15:40] I used to watch their moves and then I'd add them to my game. It was the beginning of a career-long focus on studying game recordings.

[15:48] He would invest long hours each day in breaking down his own performances and those of opponents— far more than what any other NBA player would ever contemplate undertaking.

[17:08] Jay Z’ autobiography: Decoded by Jay Z.  (Founders #238)

[21:22] If you’re not good, Jeff will chew you up and spit you out. And if you’re good, he will jump on your back and ride you into the ground. —The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. (Founders #179)

[21:58] If you're breaking down tape of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and so many other greats, you come to consider them your teachers.

[22:39] Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. (Founders #186)

[23:00] Jordan and Knight certainly shared a competitive nature that bordered on insanity, Moore added. "If you think Jordan and Kobe are competitive, go meet Phil Knight. He's a no bullshit competitor. It's, 'You play for me or I can't stand you, I will kill you.' That's Phil Knight, full stop. And he's not shy about it.”

[29:30]  He studied the game harder than anyone else has ever studied the game.

[30:00] One day just before practice, the team was informed that it couldn't have the gym due to flooding.

“This is bullshit!” he screamed, slamming a ball off the floor. “This is bullshit! We got practice, I want to practice. This is ridiculous!" (He was in high school)

[31:10] Kobe had a closet at home filled with critical research. It held all these VHS tapes of Michael's games. 

[32:00] Kobe on Michael Jordan: What you get from me— is from him. I don't get five championships without him because he guided me so much and gave me so much great advice.

[32:22] Sol Price: Retail Revolutionary & Social Innovator by Robert E. Price. (Founders #107)

[35:22] Bryant's workout had been so impressive that for Jerry West, it had revealed his heart. It was there in the skill set alone, in some ways, just the amount of work that a player would have to have done to possess such immaculate moves, the footwork and fakes and execution, the hours that must have been put into that kind of perfection.

[37:55] Part of his strategy for keeping his disappointment at bay was to focus on others who had faced far more difficult circumstances. "I read the autobiography of Jackie Robinson," Bryant said. “I was thinking about all the hard times I'd go through this year, and that it'd never compare to what he went through. That just kind of helped put things in perspective."

[38:50] Kobe’s favorite book was Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. 

[39:00] The only way he could keep the whole dream going was to work harder and harder and harder, to spin his fantasies around and around until they wrapped him tight in a new reality.

[39:45] Estée Lauder: A Success Storyby Estée Lauder. (Founders #217)

[41:00] I think that game was vital to how good he became. That level of embarrassment to happen to somebody like him? The next year he came out like a fucking maniac.

[41:15] Leading By Design: The Ikea Story by Bertil Torekull. (Founders #104)

[46:03] Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby. (Founders #212)

[47:00] The best book on the emotional toll entrepreneurs experience:  Against The Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson (Founders #200)

[54:15] Highly competitive personalities like Jordan and Bryant could absolutely kill a team atmosphere with displays of ruthlessness or selfishness.

[55:22] He stands up, points around the room and says, You motherfuckers don't belong in the same court with me.You're all shit. And he walked out of the locker room.

[56:07] 4 ideas from Kobe:

Search for your limits

Extreme personal practice

Resourcefullness—find a way.

Study the greats

[57:39] He was one of the rare few who simply cared far more about the game than anyone else.

[1:02:24] The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant 

[1:02:53] Why Warren Buffett reads annual reports brought to you by Tegus

[1:09:03] Steve Jobs on why marketing is about values brought to you by Capital

[1:13:36] Warren Buffett masterclass on how to differentiate your product brought to you by Tiny

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