Kobe Bryant had a reputation as a loner during the early years of his career, but by the time he’d retired, he’d developed quite a bond with plenty of players around the league.
Bryant always made himself available to help players with their game, and one beneficiary of this was Gordon Hayward.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paul George’s podcast, Hayward revealed that he worked out with Bryant for three straight days, and after they were done, Kobe sent him a very Kobe-esque message.
Here’s how Hayward told the story of what went down:
“When I was done with the three days with him, I had him send me all of his workouts that he would do in the summer, his weight workouts, his track workouts, his shooting workouts,” Hayward told George.
“And he wrote the whole thing down in an email and sent it. And I think at the end he said, ‘I know it’s a lot of s—, but if you’re not trying to be the best, then what the f— are you playing for?’ And that was the way he ended it.”
This wasn’t the first time these two interacted either.
When Hayward suffered a gruesome leg injury during his Celtics debut, Kobe posted a lengthy public message of support for him.
You can re-read the full message below.
As always, Mamba had everyone’s back.
KOBE BRYANT’S OTHER MESSAGE FOR GORDON HAYWARD (FOLLOWING 2017 LEG INJURY)
“Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.”
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