Tricked Into Doing “Rookie Chores”, Kobe Bryant’s Late Awakening at Tryouts Had Him Changing the Rules: “Tomorrow, You Guys Are Carrying…”

Published 09/27/2023, 3:50 PM EDT

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This induction into the world of the NBA for the rookie is a time-honored tradition: The “Rookie Chores”. The rookies have to do a lot more than usual, and for Kobe Bryant, a budding basketball superstar in the making, this didn’t sit too well. How does he react, and carve a place of respect for himself among his teammates?

We dive into Kobe’s unpredicted start on his first day at tryouts, and exactly how Kobe slyly rewrote the rules of the game for himself.

Kobe’s Audacious Move: Flipping the Script on Rookie Chores

This was an initiation ritual a young Kobe Bryant would not be able to avoid: rookie hazing. This was a passing of the torch, an opportunity for the veterans to see how well the new kids could handle themselves.

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On his first day of practice, Kobe was handed a seemingly menial task carrying the basketballs. He immediately accepted the role and proved himself to be a true team player.

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When practice concluded, as his draft class went to lunch, Kobe’s brain started to turn. The thought hit him like a flash everyone on the team was a freshman, every player fighting for a roster spot. Kobe said, ” they’re giving you a hard time, oh man you have these things called rookie chores.”

That time-honored tradition was turned on its head, in a moment of enlightenment, Kobe chose to make the decision. Winking at his new teammates, he said, “Well you guys… you’re carrying the balls for tomorrow.”

His friends were stunned by this twist of events. By standing up against the establishment and altering rookie hazing, Kobe demonstrated his resolve even at this early period of his career to be a leader. The move was not just a clever ploy but a statement of intent that Kobe came in to revolutionize the game, as much behind the scenes as out on the court.

From Rookie Rebel to Iconic Game-Changer

Kobe’s decision to reverse the rookie chore dynamics reverberated throughout the team. The award was a pivotal point in his career and exemplified his dedication to distinction. While others may have perceived it as a prank, Kobe understood it as an opportunity to change the culture of the Lakers.

This unusual behavior gained him the admiration of his peers and was a sign of things to come across in his career. Kobe’s drive, work ethic, and relentless pursuit of becoming even better are what made him the special player he was. He believed in ‘by action’ leadership and pushing the boundaries of the limits.

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Thus, Kobe’s late recognition in those drafts was not only strategic, but it also provided insight into the mental state of one of the all-time greats in basketball. The story of Kobe going from doing rookie duties all the way to NBA stardom is an inspiration for aspiring athletes everywhere, proof that with determination and a drive to buck the establishment, no height is too high to reach.



Written by:

Abhinav Tomar


One take at a time

Abhinav Singh Tomar is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. He translates his love for the game into captivating coverage. A true hoop enthusiast and a fan of all sports, he brings the court to life with his insightful writing skills.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph




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