Former Lakers Teammate Gives a Glimpse of Kobe Bryant’s Thought Process Back in the Day

Published 01/14/2021, 4:00 PM EST
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant practices his shooting prior to Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets in Denver May 25, 2009. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Ever since the NBA world heard the news about Kobe Bryant passing away, there has been a plethora of favorite Kobe stories from NBA players, with accounts detailing how much he impacted them in his own way. Last year, Kobe passed away in a terrible helicopter crash that also took the lives of eight others, including his daughter, Gianna.

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The entire world mourned for the legend who changed the NBA’s entire outlook. He is the greatest basketball player to ever grace the court, and he might be gone but never forgotten. Not only did he bring bring championships to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he also formed friendships and relationships to last lifetimes.

He found success even after his retirement in 2016. But he was a man who did not win hearts and accomplish things because of sheer talent. It also had a lot to do with his work ethic, his ‘Mamba Mentality’. In fact, he never even hesitated in passing on his teachings to other people. One such player was Wesley Johnson.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 6: Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during the basketball game against Golden State Warriors at Staples Center March 6, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Kobe Bryant effect

When people think of some top players in the league of each generation, Wesley might not come up at all. In fact, some might even have a hard time recalling his career, but the man had the biggest honor in the league. That is to play alongside Kobe Bryant, just prior to his retirement.

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In an interview with Johnson, he was asked about Kobe’s thought process. Wesley stated, “He would talk about embracing the challenge of everything. It doesn’t even matter like who was your opponent, he would just embrace it. Just because make them show you why they are who they are.

“If they have a name, make them show you that,” he explained. “I want you to show me why you worked 80 or why you worked a 100., you know what I am saying? Make them show you that. That was his whole take on everything.”

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Johnson may have not achieved greatness in the league. However, he gained something very few could- boast of playing rights alongside the Mamba.

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Yashima Bhatia

1323 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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