Skip to main content

“You drive a truck; my body is a Ferrari. This is important.”

Kobe-Bryant

My coach always told us - every practice consists of three elements. Warm-up, stretching, and whatever else we do in between. Now that I'm in my thirties, I wish I had listened to my coach more. We all just wanted to get the boring stuff out of the way and get a basketball in our hands. Well, the boring stuff is where champions are made. 

Ganon Baker is one of the best skills coaches out there. Here are some of the players he worked with: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Amar'e Stoudemire, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant. In a recent interview with Ganon, he shared a story about working out with Kobe that proved Bryant understood the importance of the boring stuff. Baker and Kobe were getting ready for a workout, and some younger guys were there too. Players Baker says went on to be great NBA players. 

They were messing around in the warmups, they weren't taking their stretching seriously, and Kobe went off on them. 'That's why you're not gonna have a long career. That's why I'ma bust your ass when I see you. That's why you're not gonna get to the second contract.'

Ganon Baker, ">1-on-1 with Basketball Network

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

That's what having a Hall of Famer around you is like. In the back of your mind, you know if you are fully committed to stretching, it improves your chances of being great in your 10th year in the league. But who thinks like that when they are in their early twenties? Well, Kobe Bryant and players of his caliber did. Bryant always said his goal was to have "one more than Mike." He was hungrier to get to title no.7 than most people are to get to the Playoffs.

'You drive a truck; my body is a Ferrari. This is important.' He just went off on them, and I'm thinking too, 'It's just warmups.' But no [Kobe was like] IT'S WARMUPS. IT'S IMPORTANT.

Ganon Baker, ">1-on-1 with Basketball Network

This is why Baker that when working with the best players, he learned more from them than the players did from Baker. He became more motivated and committed after working out with Kobe. If there's an ambition in you, they spark it to levels you didn't know were there.

If there's not, you can sign with the Knicks. Just kidding, NYC. (Kinda'). 

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in action against the Boston Celtics

“They never won the championship when they had 28 teams and so much parity in the league” - Michael Jordan once dissed the Boston Celtics’ early championships

While the C's are always praised for being a historic franchise and having the most championships many, including Michael Jordan, feel there's a caveat in regards to their achievements.

(11) Dwight Howard, (10) Kobe Bryant, (6) LeBron James and (5)Jason Kidd react on the bench

"They're totally different as far as their personalities" - Dwight Howard on the biggest differences between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

According to DH12, one preferred to be straightforward and quiet, while the other was the type to blast music and let his work do the talking.

LeBron James

LeBron James calls out the media for their treatment of Kyrie Irving compared to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - "I was kind of disappointed"

LeBron calls out the media for having double standards when reporting about Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) and teammate Stephen Jackson (3) talk to each other

“How are we gonna explain this to Pop?” - How a bloody paintball match almost got Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan in deep trouble

Fortunately, a busted lip was all the penalty Stephen Jackson had to endure for not following Gregg Popovich's instructions.

Houston Rockets' big man Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson

"We were the original 'Twin Towers'” - Ralph Samson on playing with Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets

Ralph Sampson looked back at his legacy with Hakeem Olajuwon as the original "Twin Towers."