Chris Bosh was a young, raw prospect when he first met Kobe Bryant. The two had a chance to talk about life and basketball for an hour and a half, but it wasn’t until the end of their conversation that Kobe left him with one final message: “Be great.”
Throughout his successful NBA career, Kobe Bryant imparted life lessons to those who were fortunate enough to meet him. During his enshrinement address, Chris Bosh is a basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles, who just joined him in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, shared an amazing tale about Kobe’s work ethic, which he has carried with him for over a decade.
Bryant didn’t have to utter a single word to teach Bosh a lesson that would influence his career and define what it meant to be a true basketball great.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh were teammates.
During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh react | Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to their fifth trip in the NBA Finals in nine years in 2008. In a star-studded championship series, the Lakers faced Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the Boston Celtics, with the Celtics prevailing in six games.
Bryant, on the other hand, could not be blamed for the defeat. The Hall of Famer averaged 25.7 points per game in the series and led the Lakers with 5.0 assists per game. Although it was an inspirational effort from one of the all-time greats, his squad ultimately fell short.
Bryant arrived to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games training camp only a few days later. That year, Bosh was also invited to play for Team USA in the Olympics, which was the only time the two could call themselves teammates.
The “Redeem Team,” as they were dubbed, dominated the tournament in Beijing, winning every game by double digits on their way to a gold medal. Bosh treasured the little time he had with Bryant, and he learned a vital lesson on the first day.
Without saying anything, Kobe Bryant taught Chris Bosh an important lesson.
“Legends are defined by how they bounce back from setbacks, not by how successful they are.”
Chris Bosh discusses Kobe Bryant’s work ethic and what he’s learned from him. /KbwG8a0hoN/pic.twitter.com/KbwG8a0hoN/pic.twitter.com/KbwG8a0
September 12, 2021 — NBA (@NBA)
Bryant had recently lost his second consecutive NBA Finals appearance when he arrived in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. If you know anything about Kobe Bryant as a player, you know that he hated losing. As a result, he arrived to the “Redeem Team” training camp with an unquenchable desire to develop.
On his first day as Bryant’s teammate, Bosh got a taste of that hunger. During his Hall of Fame enshrinement address on Saturday night, he shared an amazing tale about Bryant’s work ethic.
It was the year 2008. The “Redeem Team” was established. We were in Vegas for the commencement of training camp and to prepare for the Beijing Olympics. By getting up early, I hoped to position myself as a youthful leader on the squad. The first day. As a result, the aim was to be the first one to arrive for breakfast. So I set my alarm, make sure I’m up by dawn, get out of bed, suit up, and go downstairs. But when I arrive, Kobe is already there, soaked in sweat and with icepacks on his knees. It took me a minute to realize that this man was not only up before me, but he had also worked out. He’d just returned from the Finals a few days before. Meanwhile, despite the fact that I had been off for months, I was still tired.
I couldn’t understand what he’d done that morning. That devotion, just days after missing out on an NBA Championship, taught me something I’ll never forget. Legends aren’t defined only by their achievements. They are characterized by their ability to bounce back from setbacks.
In typical Kobe form, he came back with a vengeance.
As only a legend could, he came back with a vengeance.
Bryant not only led the “Redeem Team” to a gold medal after losing in the NBA Finals the previous year, but he also went on to win the Lakers’ next two NBA championships.
In the 2009 Finals against the Orlando Magic, Kobe averaged 32.4 points and 7.4 assists per game, earning him the title of Finals MVP. He got even with the Celtics the next season, winning his fifth and last title. For the second year in a row, he was awarded Finals MVP.
Bryant showed Bosh what it meant to be a basketball great in the years after his devastating defeat to the Celtics in 2008. And, appropriately, Bosh followed in the footsteps of Bryant, who led the Miami Heat to two straight championships after falling in the 2011 Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.
He now stands beside Kobe in the Hall of Fame as a legend.
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