For as fierce of a competitor as he was, Kobe Bryant was also always one of the most open when it came to passing down information to younger players.
Bryant was admittedly someone who had no problems going up to any number of NBA greats and asking them questions so he continued to pass that on when he was on the receiving end.
Now that Bryant is retired, he continues to help out those who come to him. He has held numerous workouts with a number of the NBA’s top young All-Star players and many have said they go to him for advice at times. His work ethic was renowned across the league so his advice to the new generation shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Alex Squadron of SLAM Magazine recently spoke to a number of legends from the previous NBA generation, including the likes of Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Allen Iverson. When Bryant was asked what is the best piece of advice he has for this generation, his answer was short and sweet:
Be consistent. That’s the most important part. Be consistent with your work.
It seems simple, but it really is the key. The difference between good and great players is that the great ones play at that high level every night. And that consistency doesn’t just apply to games as it is about consistency in one’s workouts, practices, dieting, and everything else that goes into being a great player.
This is something that applies to any player in any era of the NBA. This league is far different from the one that Bryant played in less than a decade ago and eventually it will change again. Bryant believes when it does, it will go backwards:
I think it just goes the opposite [way]—it goes back to midrange. I’m just kind of sitting here waiting for all these statistical people to figure out how to make midrange sound appealing after all these years of making it sound not appealing. Because it’s coming.
Bryant is right in that things certainly seem to be cyclical (especially in sports) and what’s old eventually becomes new again. The rise of analytics has basically led to the death of the midrange, which is what Bryant lived by in the latter part of his career.
After all of the studies, to see analytics actually supporting the midrange in the future would undoubtedly bring a smile to Bryant’s face.