Kobe Bryant was known for his superior basketball skills and his immense competitiveness during his legendary career. In 2008, Mike Krzyzewski was able to witness Kobe Bryant’s black mamba mentality firsthand.
The former Team USA coach, Mike Krzyzewski, recounted a tale of the team’s 2008 gold medal bid and shared the anecdote story involving Bryant and Manu Ginobili on an episode of The Old Man & the Three, hosted by J.J. Redick.
“Kobe said, ‘coach, can I talk to you for a minute?’”, started Mike. “We went to a private room and he said, ‘I need to ask you a favor.’ I said, ‘yeah, what is it?’ He said, ‘I want to guard the best perimeter player on every team. I promise you, I’ll destroy him.’”
“He knew that for us to win the gold medal, we would have to beat Argentina,” revealed Krzyzewski. “He wanted to guard Ginobili. He already had that figured out, and he was going to prepare to guard Ginobili.”
Ginobili was injured in the first quarter of the semifinal against Team USA and didn’t return on court, stripping basketball fans of a great matchup. However, Argentina put on a fight for much of the game but didn’t have enough firepower to win against Coach K’s team, as they fell 101-81.
However, Bryant was a perfectionist and an incredible competitor. Coach K story provides us with some interesting information on the behind-the-scene work that Bryant was putting on during his basketball career.