The screaming elation for Kobe Bryant heightened with each highlight-reel jumper and cross over he performed. Bryant’s mere presence also lifted a nation that seeks inspiration from his overflowing talent and work ethic.
But as Bryant recently spent time in Shanghai, China as part of the Nike RISE campaign, it appears his impact at the clinics go beyond his celebrity and skills. He also spends time teaching them critical skills to revamp their game. The videos highlighted in this post show Bryant providing instruction in various facets.
Bryant showed one player how to operate in the post using his footwork and various counter moves. Bryant demonstrated to another player how to master playing with a defensive stance. Of course, Bryant also relished competing one-on-one with several players, both to showcase his superiority and provide a blueprint on how to win.
“I wasn’t the fastest one,” Bryant said in a video interview. “I wasn’t the most athletic one. So I had to learn, deal with and play with what I had. That really helped my skill level. Then eventually I grew. And eventually I became faster. Then I had the skills to go along with that.”
Bryant spent time from July 31 to Aug. 4 evaluating which of the 30 players selected in the Nike clinic had just that. He has selected 10 players from that list to compete in a final at Wukesong Basketball Park in Beijing on Saturday. The three winners will then participate in the Nike World Basketball Festival Sept. 5-7 in Barcelona, Spain.
During this time, Bryant conceded having extra motivation to show during drills and one-on-one battles that he remains the same player he once was when he dazzled fans both in Los Angeles and China with his countless game winners and NBA championships. But Bryant enters the 2013-14 campaign only a season removed where he played in only six games because of overlapping injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. But even when accounting the diminished competition, Bryant showed in these videos plenty of mobility and strength to impress everyone with endless stepback jumpers.
“Hopefully it will inspire them to understand that overcoming it is part of the deal,” Bryant said. “It’s a part of living. When you’re facing with that types of challenges, you can do two things. You can shy away from it and do nothing about it. And the other one, you can rise up to the challenge. Whether you’re a basketball player or a writer, it does not matter. We all have obstacles. Hopefully what we do here will inspire everybody else to do the same.
And Bryant ensures trying to do that by having a hands-on approach with his Nike clinics, holding out firm belief that sharing all the knowledge that has enhanced his greatness could plant the seeds for others to reach that path.
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