"Obsession is natural."
Kobe Bryant recently wrote a piece for The Player's Tribune titled "Obsession Is Natural," in which he describes the great lengths he went to stop one of the NBA's most prolific and electrifying scorer's, Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
After Iverson dropped 41 points and 10 assists on Kobe in the Black Mamba's hometown of Philly, Kobe understood working hard simply wasn't enough to stop A.I from scoring at will on the court.
This lead Kobe to "study this man maniacally," obsessively searching for anything that could give him an advantage over Iverson, including studying how great white sharks hunt seals off the coast of South Africa.
"On March 19, 1999, Iverson put 41 points and 10 assists on me in Philadelphia.
Working harder wasn’t enough.
I had to study this man maniacally.
I obsessively read every article and book I could find about AI. I obsessively watched every game he had played, going back to the IUPU All-American Game. I obsessively studied his every success, and his every struggle. I obsessively searched for any weakness I could find.
I searched the world for musings to add to my AI Musecage.
This led me to study how great white sharks hunt seals off the coast of South Africa."
Kobe then details how he was able to shut down Iverson a year later in Philadelphia, when Phil Jackson gave him the assignment of guarding The Answer in the second half.
"When I started guarding AI, he had 16 at the half. He finished the game with 16.
Revenge was sweet.
But I wasn’t satisfied after the win. I was annoyed that he had made me feel that way in the first place.
I swore, from that point on, to approach every matchup as a matter of life and death. No one was going to have that kind of control over my focus ever again."
Check out the "Obsession Is Natural" here.