He’s the greatest of all time. His skill is second to none. Him and MJ are neck and neck as far as skill," Durant said. "Kobe is the top two best ever in just having skill, footwork, shooting the 3, shooting the pull-up, posting up, dunking on guys and ball handling. Kobe and Jordan are 1 and 1A.

- Kevin Durant on Kobe Bryant
Throwback / 2002 All-Star Game - MJ, Kobe, and Antoine Walker. 

Throwback / 2002 All-Star Game - MJ, Kobe, and Antoine Walker. 

SPORTS / Bad Jobs

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1. Knicks lost by 41 but Amar’e felt great

Following the third worst loss at home in franchise history to a below average Boston Celtics team, nobody should “feel great.”

But of course, when you’re struggling to get ten minutes a night and you play halfway decent for the first time all year I guess it’s easy to get caught up in how good you may feel. But it’s an awful look from the team aspect.

Maybe you’re lobbying for more playing time, but you can’t be telling the media how satisfied you are in your performance. Nobody cares. It’s an embarrassing loss and your 17 points means nothing to nobody.

2. Oregon tight end suspended for bowl game due to snowball fight

Pharaoh Brown wasn’t the only student involved in this incident but he is the douchebag walking around with the container filled with snow and dumping it on cars and people.

Maybe you can say being suspended for a bowl game is a bit of an overreaction, but seeing Brown do that would make me want to act with more than just a simple suspension.

This isn’t junior high anymore, man. You wanna toss snowballs amongst friends that’s okay, but you can’t be hitting random people because something bad is bound to happen to you.

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3. Reporter won’t vote for Winston because he had sex

Reporter Chris Elsberry doesn’t just refuse to vote for Jameis Winston because of the rape charge that has now been dropped, but now he won’t vote for the best player in college football because he had sex and he lacks integrity?!

What do you think goes on in today’s world? Just because you probably haven’t slept with more than two women without paying for them doesn’t mean Winston should be frowned upon for what he does in his personal life.

The kid is a star quarterback in the state of Florida, an opportunity few get to enjoy. If he’s able to have his fun within the guidelines of the law, that’s none of your concern and it shouldn’t affect how you view the kid.

4. Lakers video announcing Kobe’s return was awful

I get what they were going for in this video, but it was horrendous.

They were better off putting together career highlights or even footage of his rehab. Those would have been far better than this brutal video that runs way too long and has nothing but a jersey flapping through the wind.

Couldn’t they just have done something cool like the NBA did with Kobe’s evolution. 

That was nice, simple and brilliant. 

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5. News station remembers Nelson Mandela with A-Rod’s picture

I have no idea how something like that even happens.

To get an Alex Rodriguez headshot into a Nelson Mandela graphic is mind boggling. I’m just really, really hoping the person doing that didn’t think that’s who Mandela was.

It’s one thing if you’re mixing sports and a wrong headshot gets in there by mistake, I get that. but I mean, at least plug in Colin Powell’s headshot by mistake or something, at least that would have made some sort of sense.

Just a bad job of a lifetime and a disrespect to a fallen icon. 

-mDOT (edit AB) 

48.5 million, just like that. 

I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn’t play anymore.

- Kobe Bryant

ADVICE / How to Become a Genius

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by James Clear, for Business Insider

Kobe Bryant is one of the most successful basketball players of all–time. The winner of 5 NBA championships and 2 Olympic Gold Medals, Bryant has amassed a net worth of more than $200 million during his playing career.

In 2012, Bryant was selected as a member of Team USA. During this time, one of the athletic trainer’s for Team USA, a man named Robert, was working with Kobe to prepare for the Olympics. In the story below, which was previously published on Reddit, Robert describes his first experience with Kobe and reveals one of the reasons the superstar has become so successful.

From Robert, trainer for Team USA:

I was invited to Las Vegas to help Team USA with their conditioning before they headed off to London. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade in the past, but this would be my first interaction with Kobe.

The night before the first scrimmage, I had just watched “Casablanca” for the first time and it was about 3:30 AM.

A few minutes later, I was in bed, slowly fading away, when I heard my cell ring. It was Kobe. I nervously picked up.

“Hey, uhh, Rob, I hope I’m not disturbing anything right?”

“Uhh, no. What’s up Kob?”

“Just wondering if you could help me out with some conditioning work, that’s all.”

I checked my clock. 4:15 AM.

“Yeah sure, I’ll see you in the facility in a bit.”

It took me about twenty minutes to get my gear and get out of the hotel. When I arrived and opened the room to the main practice floor, I saw Kobe. Alone. He was drenched in sweat as if he had just taken a swim. It wasn’t even 5:00 AM.

We did some conditioning work for the next hour and fifteen minutes. Then, we entered the weight room, where he would do a multitude of strength training exercises for the next 45 minutes. After that, we parted ways. He went back to the practice floor to shoot. I went back to the hotel and crashed. Wow.

I was expected to be at the floor again at about 11:00 AM.

I woke up feeling sleepy, drowsy, and pretty much every side effect of sleep deprivation. (Thanks, Kobe.) I had a bagel and headed to the practice facility.

This next part I remember very vividly. All of the Team USA players were there. LeBron was talking to Carmelo and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility Kobe was by himself shooting jumpers.

I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, “Good work this morning.”

“Huh?”

“Like, the conditioning. Good work.”

“Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.”

“So when did you finish?”

“Finish what?”

“Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?”

“Oh, just now. I wanted 800 makes. So yeah, just now.”

Kobe isn’t merely showing up and practicing a lot. He is practicing with purpose.

Kobe had a very clear goal at practice: 800 made jump shots. He was deliberately focused on developing the skill of making baskets. The time he spent doing it was almost an after thought. That sounds simple, but it’s very different from how most of us approach our work each day.

When most people talk about working hard, they use the amount of time they worked as an indicator of how hard they worked. (i.e. “I worked 60 hours this week!”)

Putting in a lot of time might make you tired, but simply working a lot (even if it’s 10,000 hours over the course of your career) isn’t enough to make you a top performer. It’s not the same thing as practicing deliberately. Most people who think they are working hard are merely developing the skill of being in the gym, not the skill of making baskets.

To keep this basketball analogy going, consider this quote about deliberate practice…

Consider the activity of two basketball players practicing free throws for one hour. Player A shoots 200 practice shots, Player B shoots 50. The Player B retrieves his own shots, dribbles leisurely and takes several breaks to talk to friends. Player A has a colleague who retrieves the ball after each attempt. The colleague keeps a record of shots made. If the shot is missed the colleague records whether the miss was short, long, left or right and the shooter reviews the results after every 10 minutes of practice. To characterize their hour of practice as equal would hardly be accurate. Assuming this is typical of their practice routine and they are equally skilled at the start, which would you predict would be the better shooter after only 100 hours of practice?
—Aubrey Daniels

Each player in the example above could brag about practicing for one hour, but only one of them is practicing deliberately.

Researchers have noted that top performers in every industry are committed to deliberate practice. The best artists, musicians, athletes, CEOs, and entrepreneurs don’t merely work a lot, they work a lot on developing specific skills. For example, Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” strategy is all about deliberately practicing the skill of writing jokes.”

Mozart has been called the “genius of geniuses” and even he toiled away for 10 years before producing popular work. I don’t know about you, but I find this inspiring.

I don’t have the natural talent of Kobe Bryant or the sheer brilliance of Mozart, but I’m willing to put in my “10 years of silence.” I’ve only been writing on this site for 9 months, but I see this as the beginning of a 30–year project for me. And because I’m in this for good, I can win with commitment, grit, and unwavering consistency.

You can take the same approach to your work, to your goals, and to your legacy. By combining these two ideas — the consistency of “10 years of silence” and the focus of “deliberate practice” — you can blow past most people.

On a daily basis, this doesn’t have to look big or impressive. And that’s good, because it will often feel like you’re failing. What feels like struggle and frustration is often skill development and growth. What looks like little pay and no recognition is often the price you have to pay to discover your best work. In other words, what looks like failure is often the foundation of success.

Thankfully, just one hour of focus and deliberate practice each day can deliver incredible results over the long–run. And that brings us to the most important questions of all:

Are you working toward your 10 years of silence today? Are you deliberately focused on developing your skills? Or are you simply “putting in your time” and hoping for the best?

- James Clear

via Business Insider

Grown man cries after seeing Kobe Bryant in China.

WHO’S BETTER: MJ OR THE MAMBA? THE ZEN MASTER TELLS ALL

Phil Jackson’s book, Eleven Rings, comes out next week. But today, Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, who often tried unsuccessfully to get Jackson to compare the two, runs a few preview passages in which Jackson does exactly that.

On basketball mindsets:

"Michael was more likely to break through his attackers with power and strength, while Kobe often tries to finesse his way through mass pileups," Jackson wrote. "Michael was stronger, with bigger shoulders and a sturdier frame. He also had large hands that allowed him to control the ball better and make subtle fakes.

"Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game."

On defense:

"No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense.

"Kobe has learned a lot from studying Michael’s tricks, and we often used him as our secret weapon on defense when we needed to turn the direction of a game. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price."

On leadership:

"One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader," Jackson said. "Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence. Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had."

Bryant gradually evolved during the 2008-09 championship season, when the Lakers successfully retooled with a more finessed look with Pau Gasol instead of the brute force of the Shaquille O’Neal teams.

If Bryant talked to teammates in his earlier Lakers years, it was usually, “Give me the damn ball,” Jackson wrote. “But then Kobe started to shift. He embraced the team and his teammates, calling them up when we were on the road and inviting them out to dinner. It was as if the other players were now his partners, not his personal spear-carriers.”

If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear”. Ive always loved that quote. Thats “mamba mentality” we don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.

- Kobe Bryant (via antbrent)

MAMBA REPORT

48 mins last night vs Portland: 

47 pts (14-27 FG), 18-18 FT, 8 REBS, 5 ASTS, 3 STLS, 4 BLKS. 

Didn’t this dude have a sprained ankle a few weeks back? 

Mamba looking vintage.

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Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on ESPN LA chopping it up with Kobe Bryant about legacy, the Lakers chaos, the Niners, and more.

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