Within the field of sports, one is likely to come across players and coaches that have built a name for themselves due to their achievements. These men and women have grown to become valuable and most decorated sports personality in their generation. When compared to other sports figures, these men and women have by far had a successful career. Their journey to success has not been all that rosy since they have faced numerous challenges but have overcome them anyway (Saxena, 2012).
The specific thesis about this paper will focus on an interview with the Lakers player, Coby Bryant his biography, profiling NBA Finals with Celtic and a tour of the old Trafford.
Born in 1978, Coby Bryant, grew in Italy alongside two athletic older sisters Shaya and Sharia. Coby was an avid player of both basketball and soccer. During his second season as guard, with the Lakers, Coby was voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game. At just 19 he become the youngest All-Star in NBA history. He later on went to team up with superstar center Shaquille O’Neal to win three consecutive NBA championship, and was voted first-team all-NBA from 2002 to 2004. He has also singed several multi-year endorsement deals with companies like Adidas, Sprite and other top sponsors. In 2008, Coby was named as the Most Valuable Player and assisted his team to the NBA Finals, where the team lost to the Boston Celtics. The following year, the Lakers won its second straight title by defeating the Celtics.
In 2013, he suffered torn Achilles tendon and fractured his knee which led to him to take a break from basketball. Despite the fact that Coby returned in time for the start of the 2015-16 NBA season, he did struggle alongside his young Lakers teammates. In November 2015, Coby made the announcement that he would be retiring towards the end of the season. On the players’ tribune website, he wrote that this season is all that he has left to give. He went on to note that his heart is able to take the pounding, his mind is able to handle the grind but his body knows very well that it is time to say bye.
NBA Finals-Lakers vs. Celtic
The greatest rivalry over the course of the history of NBA is the match between Celtics and Lakers. Between 1959 and 2010, these two sides have met 12 times in the NBA Finals and which includes three times in the 1980s. Coby received a big standing ovation when he was announced to be among the starting lineups. He touched his chest and waved to the fans. However, those cheers quickly turned to boos as soon as he touched the ball. Majority of the fans reminded him that he still remains a significant part of perhaps the NBA’s best rivalry. Loud cheers could be heard when he missed the free throw after a Boston technical foul.
Bryant had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Celtics 112-104 on Wednesday night. Coby played for about 34 minutes and recorded his 1st double of his final season. Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points and Lou Williams scored 18 as Los Angeles stopped a four-game slide. The Celtics trailed by 11 with just about six minutes left, but used a 9-0 run to close to 100-98 on
Avery Bradley’s jam.
It was still a two-point game before Coby added his second 3-pointer of the quarter, making it 107-102 with 1:40 left. Los Angeles (6-27) seemed to be headed for another weak finish in Coby’s final season. However, the Lakers put together a firm effort against the Celtics, using a 21-4 run in the 3rd to turn a one-point deficit into an 83-69 lead. The Lakers were ahead, 89-78, as the two teams were starting the final quarter. During the 1st half, Bryant scored on consecutive drives 22 seconds apart – after missing out his 1st eight shots from the floor and a free throw – to give the Lakers a 51-44 edge. Los Angeles led 58-56 at halftime
Tour of the place
The location where the interview was supposed to take place was at Old Trafford, which is the home of Manchester United plus where the office of the coach is located. I was mesmerized and got carried away with the ambience of the place. I met an aide to the coach who led me to where the interview was to take place. As I walked in the building, I was able to see the pitch where players usually hold their training session plus where it plays against other teams. Moreover, I was able to see people at their desk busy at work but were all wearing their sports gear.
I assumed that some of them might be the tacticians, and doctors of the players. During this particular day, the team was busy training in the filed ahead of their Sunday clash with Liverpool hence I was only granted forty-five minutes owing to the importance of this particular match. One part of the wall had pictures of former Manchester United coaches since the club was started. Some of the coaches were holding a red T-shirt with their names printed on it, while others were holding a red scarf which had the name of the club written on it ( Beasley, 2016). I was able to see group photos of the former and present team of Manchester United. As I was approaching the office of the Coach, I was able to see a cabinet that contained all a lot of trophies which the club had won since its inception. I was directed to go and sit a designated place as the aide went to inform the coach that I had arrived.
I was feeling excited and nervous at the same time since I would be interviewing a legend who has achieved many people plus few people have the opportunity to have a tete a tete with the manager. I composed myself and knocked on the door, a deep voice that had some Portuguese accent replied and said, and “Come in”. My overall conclusion of the place is that the club takes pride and approaches all its former coaches and players (Beasley, 2016). Moreover, the overall ambience of the place fits the description of a sporting organization.
Height of 6 ft. 4 in or 193 cm, weighing about 212 lbs or 96 kg, Dark Brown eyes, black hair and chocolate skin completion.
Traits of Coby Bryant
Bryant’s belief in his own ability to push through and win games no matter the situation is legendary. You’d need a bit of self-belief to decide to bypass college for the NBA, challenge Shaq as the man on the Lakers, and ultimately lead your team to the championship five times. Witness his infinite belief in his ability and to his craft, through his incredible recovery from a torn Achilles at the moment – he’s already running on a treadmill 4 months when the typical length of time is 6-9 months after a torn Achilles. You can’t do anything worthwhile without a little self-belief; it is the ultimate enabler to achieving great results.
Apart from having a remarkable career, Kobe Bryant has had his fair share of critics. The critics come far and wide, critiquing his performance from on the court and off it too. Whilst failures on and off the court have mostly been in his control for the most part, Kobe Bryant has been dealt with a cruel season with a possible career ending Achilles injury suffered last April. There have been few players who have been able to return to the court successfully after a torn Achilles tendon, especially a player of Kobe’s age (turned 35 recently) Bryant’s resilience to the extreme challenges that he faces and continues to face is an amazing competitive advantage, where others would have buckled; he seems to relish the challenge.
Strive for improvement
Kobe Bryant was not a superstar overnight. He entered the NBA as an 18-year-old straight out of high school and experienced quite a few setbacks his first and second year of professional basketball. Kobe also improved dramatically in those first couple of years, becoming arguably the best in his position and an NBA champion by his 4th year. Despite reaching the summit, Kobe continued to hone his game, spending endless summers watching and mimicking moves from NBA legends such as Michael Jordan, or improving his footwork with Hakeem Olajuwon to rely less on his diminishing athleticism to keep ahead of his competition.
He spends endless hours studying game tape of the opposing team, his direct match-ups(s), team match-ups, and everything else in a bid to understand and counter what the opposition has to offer. Kobe understood from an early age, the importance that preparation had on how he performed on the court. And yet his preparation for games has only gone up several notches since his rookie season, not only preparing pregame but during games as well. At half-time of games, Kobe would go back to the locker room to study game tape of the 1st half and would often get his teammates to watch examples of plays in preparation for the 2nd half.
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