As a 17-year-old Kobe Bryant was already a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most storied basketball and sports franchises on the globe. Even though he was a young teenager Kobe had high expectations for himself and his teammates. The impeccable talent in combination with a very mature approached to his craft, left Jerry West stunned so he gave young Bryant an opportunity.
It took some time for Bryant to insert himself into the starting five but with his fellow superstar Shaquille O’Neal and head coach Phil Jackson, Kobe won three consecutive championships with a dominance rarely seen in NBA history.
Bryant won another two championships in three consecutive NBA Finals trips with Pau Gasol.
In a recent public speaking event, Bryant reflected on the championship he won and what inspired him as a young child to have great goals.
“I left a few on the table, to be honest with you. As a kid, you grow up and you say, ‘OK, this is what I want to do. I want to win eight championships.’ I fell three short, but that was a real thing for me. This is what I’m going to do, right? It’s like us sitting here and saying, ‘We’re going to be the number one sports drink in 2025.’ Everybody will sit there and laugh at it. As a 10-year-old kid, I said, ‘I want eight championships. I want to be one of the greatest players of all time.”
Bryant would also explain why he always fantasized about winning 8 NBA championships:
“Because Magic had five, Jordan won six. So, Michael won one more than Magic. I wanted to win two more than Michael. It makes no sense, but it made sense to me.”
Kobe won in 5 out of 7 NBA Finals he played in. The Detroit Pistons were a tough loss for a very stacked but old Los Angeles Lakers team. In his first trip to the finals after Shaq, Kobe went up against a legendary Boston Celtics team which featured 4 Hall Of Famers.