Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan recently said that Kobe Bryant’s nonstop work ethic made a tremendous impact on the 2008 USA Redeem Team.

(Via The 3 Point Conversion):

“He was amazing. Just to see his work ethic. I tell the story about how he came and joined us in 2008. He didn’t play in 2007 when we lost that one game because of I think a thumb injury. But in 2008, our first meeting, normally all of the players during the first meeting, everybody is sitting in the back of the room. Kobe came up right behind the coaches and sat at a table by himself, like a student attending class for the first day. He was sitting right up front focused on bringing that team together and winning gold. I had never coached or worked with him, but really respected that. 

“His work ethic, I think it rubbed off on a lot of guys. To see him get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, go through his weight training, go over to the gym, get his shots up, come back for the 10 o’clock meeting, and then go back to practice. After practice he went through a routine. And I saw after that year, when we came back in 2012, a few more of those guys had routines like that. So he was an impressive young man, and a very focused and determined young man. He understood what that team and how that team was put together, what it meant, and the statement that they were trying to send to all of our athletes in the NBA.”