Kobe Bryant: Olympics Were an Opportunity to Improve

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Mamba Mentality" by Kobe Bryant. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What did Kobe Bryant do in the Olympics? How did the Olympics impact his career?

Kobe Bryant’s participated in the Olympics in 2008. He had the opportunity to play with the best players in the NBA and work with coaches. Bryant saw this as an opportunity to improve his game and learn from new people.

Read more about Kobe Bryant in the Olympics and what he learned from the experience.

Kobe Bryant: Olympics

Many of the greatest achievements are hard-won. Regardless of your effort and preparation, obstacles are nearly inevitable—but they are not insurmountable. The way in which you tackle challenges on the road to greatness will determine whether you ultimately make it. 

Adapt Your Habits to New Circumstances

In 2008, after Kobe had won three championships, he played in the Olympics alongside LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and other basketball greats. Although Kobe was the senior statesman on the team, playing with the best players in the NBA elevated his game. Because Kobe knew that other players excelled at stealing, scoring, and other elements of the game, Kobe was free to focus on his greatest strength: defense. 

Kobe Bryant’s Olympics experience also gave him the chance to play under Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K had met and formed a close bond with Kobe years earlier, when he’d tried to recruit him to play at Duke. For Kobe Bryant, the Olympics were an opportunity to finally play under Coach K.

The biggest challenge of playing in the Olympics was the uncertainty. In the NBA, Kobe knew the practice, game, and travel routine. He was familiar with the buses, the training rooms, and the arenas for every game, and he could easily maintain his training and preparation routine. However, while traveling through Spain, China, Turkey, and the UK, Kobe didn’t know what to expect, so he had to adapt. Still, Kobe trained and worked out as best he could, and he maintained his mental intensity. 

Kobe Bryant: Olympics Were an Opportunity to Improve

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Kobe Bryant's "The Mamba Mentality" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Mamba Mentality summary:

  • How Kobe Bryant was able to play and dominate the best players
  • Why Kobe took up tap dancing for a summer
  • How reading the referee's handbook helped Kobe improve his game

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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