Despite having one of the most illustrious careers in NBA history, in which he pretty much won everything he could, there was always the excellent work habit that went along Kobe Bryant's reputation.
The obsessive drive to outwork everybody and the desire to improve every aspect of his game was something that stood Kobe apart from a lot of players who were equally or even more talented than he was. Bryant was talented, but he learned that only by working hard every day, would give him a chance to be one of the all-time greats.
During an interview at TEDxShanghai, Kobe Bryant shared his personal experience of having a strong work ethic with the audience. Among a lot of things, he pretty much summed up a usual routine most players do in the offseason, which is different than what Kobe is used too.
"If your job is to be the best basketball player you can be. To do that, you have to practice; you have to train. You want to train as much as you can, as often as you can. If you get up at 10 in the morning, train at 12. Train for 2 hours, so from 12 until 2. You have to let your body recover. You recover and get back to practice at 6. So you train from 6-8. You come home, have a shower, you have dinner, you go to bed, and you wake up and do it all the same. So those are two sessions."
Kobe Bryant is a firm believer in waking up at 3 am to squeeze out as many workouts as he can in one day. He pretty much explained his usual routine during the offseason when players have the most time to get better and improve any aspect of their game they think is necessary.
Imagine if you wake up at 3. You train at 4. Go from 4 to 6. Come home, have breakfast, relax and so on. You go back to it again. 9 to 11, relax, and then you're back at it, 2 to 4. And then you're back at it again, 7 to 9. Look how much training I have done simply starting at 4 am.
It was well known Kobe was very methodical in his approach to the game and practice itself. That is what made him better than a lot of other players in the league. This story can serve as a guideline to anyone who wants to know what needs to be done if you're going to put yourself in the position to be one of the all-time greats.