Tonight, Kobe Bryant will play his final game against the New York Knicks. Phil Jackson, the team’s president, has flown in to watch his former player at Staples Center, and the legendary coach talked to the press yesterday about the five-time NBA champion.
Jackson, who coached Bryant from 1999-2004 and 2005-2011, was asked to reveal his favorite Kobe memory, and it sure was a good one.
According to a New York Post report by Marc Berman, Jackson said he often found Bryant asleep in his car outside the Lakers’ practice facility at 8:30 am. Why? The Black Mamba would be resting up after an early morning workout in order to recharge his batteries before the team’s official practice just a few hours later.
Jackson said they’d sometimes have breakfast together before the rest of the team arrived.
“I had to respect the dedication, the desire he had,” Jackson said, per Berman. “Those moments brought us together. We’d have breakfast before anyone else came in.”
This is the kind of dedication that made Bryant one of the greatest to ever do it. He was always willing to go the extra mile in order to get an upper hand on his competition, and all that extra work clearly paid off.