Kobe Bryant broke down just how he felt when approaching basketball games, claiming he never once felt intimate on the court.
Kobe Bryant reached a stage in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers where it felt as though he knew what the outcome of a certain play was going to be based off of simple rotations made by opposing players. The 'Black Mamba' was in tune and in rhythm with every single thing happening on the court and this happened around the mid-2000s.
Controlling the pace of the game, determining exactly what kind of shot to take at exactly what time in the shot clock was something Kobe Bryant had mastered as he was approaching his back-to-back title run in '09 and '10.
With him having such an immense amount of knowledge about the game, mental fortitude came right along with it. Luckily for the Philly native, he had the utmost confidence in his game from the very first time he stepped foot on NBA hardwood.
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Towards the end of his run with the Lakers and in the NBA, Bryant talked about this mental fortitude of his.
Kobe Bryant talks about how he never felt intimate don NBA hardwood.
In an interview Kobe Bryant did in 2013 (17 years into his career), he dished on various topics ranging from his relationship with Michael Jordan to his ability to drop 50 points in an NBA game ever game (spoiler alert- he dropped 60 in his final game).
One question that was quite intriguing was his response to being asked, “Have you ever been intimidated on the basketball court?” Kobe's response, as expected, was an elaborate no.
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"Never. Not at all. My mind doesn't work that way. It's something that's never even entered my thought process. The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared sh*tless. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass."
“But then I realized he didn't kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn't really exist if you're in the right frame of mind."
Kobe Bryant admitted years later that the only other time he ever felt nervous was him getting ready to play in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game.