Kobe Bryant came into the league during a time as soon as the NBA experienced a number of large names do the jump from high-school come professionals, skip college, and also thus omitted the advancement it brings. The high-school youth either made the transition well (KG, Jermaine O’Neal) or to be disappointments, that struggled v the cosmic-like shift, bring about the destruction of development and self-confidence (Kwame Brown, Sebastian Telfair, etc.)

I think it’s for sure to to speak The black color Mamba made that change very unique – 5 time NBA champion, 2 time Finals MVP, 1 continual Season MVP, 15 all-star appearances and also future room of Famer.

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However, if we ponder end the idea the Kobe Bryant deciding come play collegiate basketball for duke University – whereby he was expected to sign a letter of intent – what would certainly be different in Bryant’s legacy? The breakdown actually sheds light onto the psychology the his machine-like work-related ethic, as well as the unwavering mind-set.

In 1996, a cocky 18-year old who had actually the world attention, join an already ego-centric LA Lakers team with proven veterans, like Eddie Jones, Shaquille O’Neal and Nick valve Exel. Kobe Bryant to be the youngest member top top the squad, and from work 1 explained as a loner in the locker-room. A young pistol itching to prove himself and also the talent that knew that possessed, yet with nobody to monitor him. He was unproven when entering the Lakers squad, without the humbling guidance the Coach Krzyzewski would have instilled into Bryant in ~ Duke.

And the hurt his very first two seasons of expansion – averaging 7 ppg, and also coming off the bench as a trigger-happy scorer, before he developed other aspects and also understandings the the game on his own.

Then there to be the infamous game 5 against the Utah Jazz, Kobe’s an initial post-season. 3 game-winning shot attempts through the rookie – 3 wait balls. If it to be anyone else, let alone an 18-year old, after ~ the very first air round attempt, they’re letting among the other veterans take it the following game-winning shot. But the black Mamba had actually serious offal from work one, and jacked up 2 more. It claims a lot about his confidence; he wanted greatness, and also was not afraid to go after it.

One thing is specific – he functioned on his own game, sustained by his isolation and also the vast chip on his shoulder. Bryant went difficult at the gym frequently at the crack of dawn. It’s a high-level work-related matched by couple of in the history of the game, and also one which that maintains come this day. The is likewise why that once he established himself as the best in the league, he never truly reliable anyone else with the round – at the very least not instinctively. No one else roughly him has had his type of work code. Since the finish of the Kobe-Shaq era, the only person he ever trusted to be Derek Fisher, his fellow ’96 draft course peer.

If Bryant had actually gone to college, showcased his supremacy with boys his age, learnt to play through others (under Coach K the would’ve have actually to), the change to the NBA would probably have actually been smoother, and also his capability to mesh through teammates an ext amenable. Maybe the relationship with Shaq would likewise have been different, prompting the dominant duo to stay together and also win an ext titles.

This is a “what if” scenario that does not gain much an alert because of just how supremely Kobe’s career has actually turned out. So that cares if he didn’t walk to college? His journey to be good overwhelmed every obstacles because that a 17-year old thrown into Hollywood amidst stars and also glamour. That has more than lived as much as it, and he earned it.

Still, Bryant now needs to undo the approach and also mentality he has adopted for 17 seasons. The same strategy that preserved him afloat with the tough beginnings, and eventually elevated him to greatness. A mind-set he had to require to survive, without the outlook collegiate basketball would have actually provided. The must learn to to trust his new teammates that were brought in assist bring him much more championship rings.

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The black color Mamba is already beginning to change to balancing his function as a scorer and facilitator, for the an initial time in his career. V the tools at the Lakers disposal it is imperative for him to execute so.