Kobe Bryant dropped by New England Patriots practice a couple of weeks ago, and his visit apparently was more than just a photo-op.
Albert Breer of The MMQB shed some additional light on Bryant’s recent trip to Foxboro in an article published Monday. Bryant, of course, played 20 seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, retiring at age 37, so perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick brought him in as quarterback Tom Brady prepares for his 19th season with New England at age 41.
“When he was telling us about his training regimen, how he approached a day, a light bulb went off in my head: That’s Tom,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon told Breer. “You realize it’s no coincidence. That’s the reason why Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant. That’s the reason why Tom Brady is Tom Brady. (Brady’s) approach to the game, it’s totally different than the majority of the NFL, probably 99 percent of the NFL. And that’s why they have the success they have.”
Breer wrote that he’s not sure exactly why Belichick invited Bryant to New England’s organized team activities in late May, but he believes the visit resonated with the Patriots, largely because of the wisdom the former Lakers star shared about his own basketball playing days.
Here’s what Breer wrote about the message Bryant delivered:
Among Bryant’s talking points was the importance of training, and of studying other players, to his ability to play two decades in the NBA. The Patriots who were listening have another pretty good example of longevity in their own locker room, and they made the connection quickly.
Breer also wrote:
New Patriot Jeremy Hill told me that Bryant’s study of Allen Iverson stuck out in the speech, because it was a result of Iverson lighting Bryant up early in his career. Bryant also relayed stories of incorporating elements of what Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson did as players and pros into his own routine.
According to Breer, there were two keys shared by Bryant: commitment and the constant thirst for knowledge.
“With Tom and Kobe, you see they have totally different workout regimens, but you see it works perfectly for each one of them in a totally different way,” Hill told Breer. “For me, and everyone in the locker room, whatever we can take from that and apply to ourselves to make ourselves better, even if it’s just a little better, that stuff is huge.”
There’s no telling how much Bryant’s visit ultimately will help the Patriots between the lines, but hey, it can’t hurt, right?
Thumbnail photo via Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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