S1E7: The Mind of a Champion
I Am Kobe · 52 minutes ·

S1E7: The Mind of a Champion

The most dramatic Kobe Bryant story of his teenage years is the 1995-1996 season of the Lower Merion Aces. It doesn’t have to do with the NBA or Jerry Stackhouse or Kobe’s appreciation for his time in Italy or any of those things. It's about the community in which he grew up, the pressure that a young athlete feels to perform, and the joy that accompanies the achievement of a goal you’ve been chasing for years.

Kobe said, "That's all I ever wanted. When I first came to high school, I knew I was a pretty good player, and I was going to work hard to accomplish all those individual goals. But, after going 4-20, I said, 'Hey man, I hate losing. There’s no way in hell I want to go through this again.' The next year, we improved. The year after, we improved. Throughout the whole time, I remember thinking, 'I want a state championship. I want to be known as the best--not only as the best player, but as the best player on the best team.' That meant so much to me. I just wanted to prove to everybody that I could carry us to a state championship."

Pre-order Mike Sielski's related book: “The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality" (1/11/22): TheRiseOfKobeBook.com

Join the conversation about “I Am Kobe” on social media: on Twitter and Instagram: @diversionpods

Our theme music is “Create Yourself” by Grover Braam feat. Justin Starling: Listen to Create Yourself on Spotify

Cover photo © Eileen Blass – USA TODAY NETWORK

“I Am Kobe” is a production of Diversion Podcasts in association with iHeartRadio. This season is written and hosted by Mike Sielski. Produced by Jacob Bronstein and directed by Mark Francis. Story editing by Jacob Bronstein with editorial direction from Scott Waxman. Editing, mixing, and sound design by Mark Francis. Production Assistant: Stephen Tompkins. Music Supervisor: Scott Velasquez for Frisson Sync. Executive Producers: Mark Francis and Scott Waxman. 

Thanks to Oren Rosenbaum, Susan Canavan, and Jeremy Treatman.

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