7 Lessons On Success Kobe Bryant Has Learned In The NBA

Kobe Bryant kicked off his 20th season in the NBA and with the LA Lakers last night with a 112-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles. The game was Bryant’s first regular-season appearance since February; he has spent the last eight months recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained last season. Despite his injury and subsequent recovery time, Bryant scored a game-high 24 points last night, despite missing 10 of his 13 3-point attempts and missing all of his shots in the fourth quarter.

Many fans and members of the association have been widely speculating about this potentially being Bryant’s last season in the NBA. The Lakers, themselves, seem to be preparing for a future without Bryant at the helm. The final game-winning attempt was left to Lou Williams instead of Bryant, and black (not purple and gold) t-shirts that read ‘Our Present. Our Future’ were handed out to fans before the game last night.

Despite signs that Kobe may be preparing for retirement after this year, he has, no doubt, been an integral part of both the NBA and the LA Lakers alike, passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s scoring list last year and being the only player to spend 20 seasons with one team in NBA history. If this is to be his final season, it would be safe to say that the NBA will not be the same after he has gone. Here are seven quotes from Bryant on professionalism, teamwork, and perseverance that he has learned over the course of his 20-year career.

1. “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”

Kobe Bryant not only recognizes his position as a member of a team working to achieve a common goal, but also as a role model for those in his own profession and the world at large. By giving every effort your all and working to improve your own knowledge and skills, you can inspire others to do the same, and so achieve a level of personal success for themselves. Your goal is not to tell people to do exactly what you do, but simply to utilize those virtues that you have used (passion, perseverance, determination) to achieve the success you have achieved.

2. “Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

Facing difficult situations and encountering obstacles on our way to achieving our goals is something everyone faces in their lifetime, and Kobe Bryant is no exception. When a challenge comes your way and becomes another obstacle on your journey to success, do not shy away from it. This is just another opportunity for you to learn and to improve upon your skills. Make a game plan and trust in your instincts, and you will find success in whatever you do.

3. “We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it.”

Just like a challenge or an obstacle that comes along, the best way to overcome self-doubt is simply to accept it and work your way through it. Everyone has moments of doubt. The key is not to focus on that doubt, but to find a way to resolve it, and put it behind you. Proving your doubt wrong is one of the best ways to give yourself a fresh shot of confidence and determination.

4. “If you're afraid to fail, then you're probably going to fail.”

The saying goes, ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself.’ If you are afraid to fail, then you will never even make the attempt to try. Failure is not something you should dread or fear, but like doubt, it’s something you should embrace. We learn more from our failures than we do from our achievements because our failures provide us with the opportunity to learn and to improve upon our strengths and weaknesses. Without failure, success is guaranteed to remain beyond our reach.

5.“I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”

Our role models inspire us to set our own goals and to work hard in order to achieve them. Success, however, doesn’t mean following in our role models footsteps, it means drawing knowledge and inspiration from them in order to achieve personal success for ourselves. To be successful means taking pride in your work and having a passion for what you do. You cannot achieve victory for anyone but yourself. Do not try to be someone else; go out and make your own way, and success will be sure to follow you.

6. “I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.”

As with any venture or industry, the key to success often lies in your ability to rely on your teammates. Kobe Bryant has remained an advocate for the power of teamwork throughout his career. He is not afraid to step aside on occasion and rely on his fellow players to put their best efforts forward to achieve success for the team. He has his own personal goals that he looks to accomplish, but he also recognizes his role as part of a larger group, and that his efforts must also work towards accomplishing the group’s goals as well.

7. “Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they've taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences.”

Team building is an important part of any industry, whether it’s a team of lawyers, a business team, or an athletic team. For Kobe Bryant, sports not only offer the opportunity to excel as an individual, but also to learn to work well and rely on others to help you achieve your goals. Learning to work with others also allows you to develop your interpersonal and communication skills, including using patience, compromise, and leadership to achieve success for the entire group.