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
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’).