Kobe Bryant’s basketball mentor: Jerry West
Kobe Bryant was one of the most legendary basketball players of all time. He had a natural talent for the game and a great work ethic that inspired his career success. But behind the scenes, Kobe had an important mentor and advisor – his basketball mentor, Jerry West.
Background of Jerry West
Jerry West is a basketball Hall of Famer who was voted as one of the NBA’s top 50 players of all time. He’s a former head coach and retired NBA executive who helped create championship teams as general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Mentorship of Jerry West
Kobe and Jerry West first met when Kobe was just 16 years old and looking to jump from high school to the NBA. Jerry West was then general manager of the Lakers and guided Kobe through the steps towards playing in the NBA.
West mentored Kobe on the technical aspects of basketball, as well as physical, psychological and business aspects. He challenged Kobe to become a better player and focused his mentorship primarily on the player’s mental and emotional growth.
Kobe’s Words of Appreciation
Kobe took West’s words to heart and always appreciated the mentorship he received – “I owe much to Jerry West, a mentor and a father figure, who helped guide me in my life and in my career.”
Kobe also said “everything I have is Jerry West – my mentor and my teacher”. Kobe credits West as the one who believed in him and pushed him beyond his limits, helping him to become one of the most famous basketball players of all time.
Kobe’s basketball mentor, Jerry West, was an integral part of his journey to success. West’s mentorship inspired and guided Kobe throughout his career. He challenged and pushed Kobe to reach his ultimate potential and for that Kobe will always be grateful.