Kobe Bryant is a fierce competitor, but you knew that already. What you may not know is how far his competitive spirit will go. On the court? Of course! At practice? Absolutely! During shootaround? Yes, even during shootaround. In a recent interview with Silver Screen & Roll, Nick Van Exel recalls one of the first times he realized how intense Kobe's work ethic can be.
"I do remember one time we were having a shootaround, and in the shootaround we were just walking through the plays, just trying to figure out the defenses as you're walking through them," said Van Exel. "And [Kobe] was going really really hard at Eddie Jones, and we all just started laughing. And he was the only one not laughing, like the coaches was laughing, everybody.
"[Kobe] was not laughing. So finally, Del [Harris] had to tell him 'we're not going 100% yet!''
What's "just walking through the plays" to a guy like Kobe? "Any time we would go against that second group, we really had to play for real," Van Exel adds. "He wouldn't allow us to go through the motions, and I think he was making us better players because he competed so hard."
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[via Silver Screen & Roll]