Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant went to Alabama University to talk to the football team about leadership and dropped some serious knowledge. On a campus where Bear Bryant is a legend, Kobe Bryant visited the Crimson Tide and offered some words of wisdom to the defending national champions.
Specifically, the retired Los Angeles Laker spoke about how strong leadership contributes to the greater good of the team and explained that being a good teammate means more than making sure you’re prepared to the best of your ability.
Bryant said: “To be an effective leader, you have to be a really good listener and not to what’s being said but to what’s not being said. You have to be really observant. That was a big transition for me. I went from being a scorer and a floor general to now — with Pau (Gasol) and Lamar (Odom) trying to win other championships — to be a leader, and that meant putting others first. That means not worrying about, are you in rhythm? Are you playing well in this game? Are you ready to go? To being, are they ready? What can I do to help them be ready? Right?
“That’s the big transition to me. You’ve got to observe them because they all have things they want to accomplish as individuals. And as a leader, you’re like, ‘OK, what are those things, and how can I help them accomplish that within the system and structure that we are trying to do collectively?'”
Bryant's advice to the 2018 college football champs echoes that of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, who once said that the best advice he ever received was to "listen more than you talk."
Of course, the coaches and players alike loved hearing what Kobe had to say. You don’t win five NBA championships and two Finals MVPs without knowing what you’re doing.
The top-ranked football team will start their season on September 1 under the leadership of head coach Nick Saban.