New York Giants’ Xavier McKinney Reveals How Kobe Bryant Helped Him ‘Build as a Player’

Published 11/01/2021, 12:30 PM EDT


Kobe Bryant was not just an NBA legend. He was also a sporting icon, who represented everything positive about the discipline. For Kobe, sports were not just games, but something that needs a lot of discipline, focus, dedication, and hard work. Hence, Kobe thought that everything important in life can be learned through sports.

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As a sporting icon, Kobe Bryant made it a point to practice the principles he preached. And whoever came to Kobe with an intention to learn, almost never went back without important lessons for them as players and as people.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Presenters Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant announce the winner of Female Athlete of the Year during the 2017 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards at J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live on November 19, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian)

Recently, NFL Star Safety Xavier McKinney was recalling his first meeting with Kobe. He was so impressed with Kobe that in just one meeting, he felt like he changed him as a person.

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NFL Star Safety reveals the life lesson Kobe Bryant taught him

While reminiscing his meeting with Kobe, he said, “That time was really special, man. Obviously, he’s one of the all-time greats, and I love basketball so I watch a lot of basketball.”

“He has a great mind, great mindset, and just getting a good feel of who he was as a person, just explaining it, getting the opportunity to actually pick his brain and see how he was as a competitor and what his thoughts kind of were going into practices, going into games. That’s something I cherish forever.”

Oct 3, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) pushes New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Hogan (80) out of bounds during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Further, he added, “I actually asked him a question that day of how he prepares, how he studies film, and he just let me know a lot of great things of different factors of watching film and getting one up on the opponent just by body language. It was something that I’ll never forget. RIP to Kobe. He really helped me build as a player and as a person when I got to listen to him.”

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Bryant’s impact on the American society

Kobe’s impact on American society was not just for his accomplishments in basketball. He also represented every moral and virtue that one would imbibe to become an ideal citizen. His life principles revolved around what you can do for the world and not what the world does for you.

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Indeed a legendary soul. Even in his absentia, every person who has ever gotten to know Kobe, probably remembers him for something he has changed in their life forever. RIP Mamba.

Watch This Story: Anthony Davis, Zach LaVine, and Other NBA Players Who Have Donned Kobe Bryants Sneakers in the 2021-22 NBA Season

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

353 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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