There is a trend in the NBA in the last couple of years for resting players in practices and games, which is not viewed positively among NBA fans. The essential part of winning games and being fully prepared is the practice and work you put into the entire process. Nowadays, teams view players as their most valuable asset, especially all-star players. They are trying to minimize a potential injury as much as they can. That is somewhat understandable from a pure business perspective, but at the end of the day, it hurts the game and the fans.
Kobe Bryant was known for his incredible work ethic, practiced 8-10 hours per day, and his competitive nature is one of the reasons he was one of the most skilled players in the NBA. After Shaquille O’Neal left the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe asserted himself as the team’s leader and asked a lot from his teammates in terms of sheer dedication to the ultimate goal, which is the NBA championship.
When hosting on the show” The Corp With Big Cat and Alex Rodriguez”, Kobe gave his thoughts on the whole issue with resting players and missing practices and how it affects the end result. Kobe said Phil Jackson never gave them a day off, and he also felt responsible for keeping his teammates in check.
“Listen, practices must be competitive. If your practices are not more competitive than games, than you are doing something wrong. And most of these coaches get into the mindset of resting players. Ohh it’s too much, we are not going to practice, light day, and Phil never gave us a light day. There are no days off. You show up, and you work in practice.Kobe Bryant, via The Corp with Big Cat and Alex Rodriguez
When it came to practice, Kobe’s mindset was simple and very similar to the method Michael Jordan implemented with the Chicago Bulls. Practices should be tougher and more competitive than games, and if somebody is slacking, Kobe needed to be vocal and speak out about that individual. Attention to detail is something Bryant practiced ever since he entered the NBA, and his notion was that if you put in the work and game, seven comes by, you’ll be ready.
“Practices are going to be worse, they will be more physical, and there is going to be more trash-talking, and I am going to let you know. If you don’t show up, I will let you know. It’s going to embarrass you, and you are going to hate it. But when game 7 of the NBA finals rolls up, you will be prepared.”Kobe Bryant, via The Corp with Big Cat and Alex Rodriguez