Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant used to swim with great white sharks to prepare for the rigors of an NBA season, according to former NBA guard Corey Maggette.
Bryant and Maggette were very close friends since they both played in Los Angeles. In an interview with Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Maggette talked about Bryant’s mentality and how he was just built differently:
“As far as with Kobe, you just knew that he was different. He was different. I remember the call that I got from Rob [Pelinka] and Kobe. Rob called me and said, ‘Man, you wouldn’t believe where I am right now.’ I said, ‘Where?’ He said, ‘Man, we’re in the middle of the ocean and Kobe is trying to prepare himself for the rigors of the season. He’s swimming with great white sharks.’ I’m like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘He’s literally swimming with great white sharks.’
“I’ll never forget that. He sent me a video of him literally swimming with great white sharks. And Kobe was like, ‘Hey, if you want to get some of this Mamba, you need to come swim with the sharks.’ I’m like, ‘Kob, I’m not coming to swim with no damn sharks, man. You’re on your own with that one.’ It was just a different approach.”
In 1,346 career games for the Lakers, Bryant cemented himself as an all-time great. Coming straight to the NBA from high school is no easy move, but Bryant finished his illustrious NBA career with averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard was an 18-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, 15-time All-NBA team member, two-time Finals MVP and five-time champion.
The Lakers retired Bryant’s No. 8 and 24 jerseys last year. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer as part of an incredible class when inductees are announced later this year.
Everyone needs to keep Vanessa Bryant and Kobe’s surviving daughters in their prayers right now. It’s impossible to understand what the Bryant family is going through.