Kobe Bryant’s obsession with the game didn’t have boundaries, even if it meant sacrificing personal happiness. In the 2012-13 season, a 34-year-old Bryant dominated the NBA and averaged 27.3 points. The secret behind his fine performance: a change in his diet.
Cutting off sweets
The Black Mamba knew that he wasn’t getting any younger, and if he wanted to stay relevant rather than ride off the sunset in the latter part of his career, something must be changed. The faster but more challenging way to change was his diet. At 34 years old, with thousands of basketball miles on his body, Kobe had to eliminate sweets from his diet. While it may seem easy for some, getting rid of sweets in one’s diet could affect someone’s mood and energy level.
“Diet is always the hardest thing. We’re accustomed to eating what we want to eat whenever we want to eat it. You become comfortable with that. A change in that is a change in your lifestyle. That’s been the most difficult,” Bryant explained.
The Lakers star preferred lean meats over sweet food and it resulted in him losing 16 pounds. The change in diet worked as Kobe was the third leading scorer at that time behind Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.
Kobe’s obsession pushed him to another level
Before he changed his diet, there was nothing wrong with Kobe’s game. In fact, in the 2011-2012 season, he averaged 27.9 points. If this were any other player, they wouldn’t change a thing in their diet and routine, but because it was Bryant, he chose to do the unthinkable and looked for ways to improve his game still.
The Black Mamba’s career was a textbook on how to do things the right way. He did not have the easiest routines and opted to challenge himself even if he didn’t have to. Bryant unlocked a better version of himself because he was willing to go where others didn’t.
I doubt many 34-year-old vets in the league would be willing to eliminate sweets from their diet to stay relevant. But Kobe was Kobe, and there will never be another like him. In the 2012-13 season, his legacy was already cemented, but he still learned some new tricks to become better and one of the greatest ever.