‘Made Everyone Feel Their Time Was Valuable’: NBA Trainer Gives Sneak Peek Into Kobe Bryant’s Generosity

Published 04/05/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
LA Laker Kobe Bryant takes control of the ball during a practice scrimmage in at the University of Hawaii- Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. (Photo by Robert Kratzke/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


Basketball trainers have become important influencers on social media. They often post mini clips of their clients’ training to grab the attention of this generation and inspire them to become basketball players. One such skilled NBA trainer is Alex Bazzell. Along with being one of the best trainers the league has ever seen, he has also worked with some of the top players, including Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant.

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In fact, Bazzell even developed a close relationship with the late Lakers legend. Kobe was also the inspiration behind Bazzell’s famous ‘Through the Lens’ program, formed to motivate youngsters to understand the beauty of the game. Alex always considered Kobe as his mentor and has learned a lot from him.

How Kobe Bryant helped player development

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In an interview, Bazzell was asked what he took from Kobe when he was under his wing at the Mamba Academy. “I think the biggest thing that I learned, in terms of his teaching style and the way he went about player development, was simplicity,” stated Alex.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

He wasn’t one to juggle four tennis balls at a time while trying to shoot a layup. Or hop over different obstacles on the course. He just came down to where are the spots that you’re getting the ball in, and how can you maximize your efficiency in those spots. It comes down to make it or miss it,” Alex further explained.

Alex also revealed that Kobe tried to prioritize getting the shot. Many players concentrate so much on getting the footwork right going through drills but still fail to make the shot. This is why Alex loved how Kobe’s simple process worked and how he tried to make it as less complicated as possible. Alex said, “His definition was very easy for people to follow.”

The legend’s generosity was a class apart

Bazzell talked about another characteristic that he really admired of Kobe’s. He stated, “He was so generous with his time and attention of who he gave anyone time or attention to. It didn’t have to be Kyrie Irving. It could be just someone walking by that wanted a picture. He made everyone feel that their time was valuable.”

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Alex confessed that not everyone saw this side of Kobe. The way Kobe treated the girls he trained and how he treated Alex and his family is something the trainer will never forget. Alex said, “He was an unbelievable person more than anything. I think that’s really what the world is missing is more people like that, that are at the top and can really influence the masses.”

Kobe touched many lives along the way. If it weren’t for him, Alex never would have founded his program. Even though he isn’t here anymore, Kobe somehow still has a hand in molding hundreds of players into the NBA’s next generation of star players.

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Read also- ‘Never Excited Me’ – Why Kobe Bryant Declined Opportunity to be in LeBron James’ Space Jam 2

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 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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