Kobe Bryant Dominates JJ Redick in Practice, Carmelo Anthony Recalls

Kobe's intense practice duel with Redick.

by Nouman Rasool
Kobe Bryant Dominates JJ Redick in Practice, Carmelo Anthony Recalls
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Even in practice, this was the kind of relentless competitor Lakers star Kobe Bryant showed, which surpassed any sort of pressure from NBA playoffs or Finals. Carmelo Anthony vividly remembered the merciless drive of Bryant during a Team USA scrimmage, where he homed in on then-young player JJ Redick, drawing motivation from comments by U.S.

head coach Mike Krzyzewski. According to Anthony, it happened at the training camp in preparation for the 2008 U.S. men's basketball team. Fresh from his second NBA season and touting his sharpshooter reputation, Redick was deep into a pool of 33 players earmarked to make the team.

Maybe his affiliation with Duke and Coach Krzyzewski rubbed Bryant the wrong way, who often acted as the biggest fan of this favourite player.

Kobe's Fierce Response

Anthony remembered how the response on Bryant's side was scorching: "Kobe took it very personally, to the point where he was running through screens, denying JJ the ball, and fouling him hard during practice.

I remember thinking, 'Why are you treating the young boy like that?' When I asked, Kobe said, 'Coach K keeps talking about this guy; I'm going to show you today.' And true to his word, Kobe didn't let Redick score." Redick spoke of his time with Bryant, referring to how crazy of a worker he was.

While attending one camp at Duke, Bryant's work slaught called for hitting the gym at dawn and working on complex moves until he got them right a fitting epitome of stories told about him being a 'psycho worker.' This story has been told before not only as a testament to the well-documented determination of Bryant but also how he had this unique ability to use anything for motivation, a la Michael Jordan's method of inventing slights to drive himself.

At other times, it would be based on the slightest comments or situations that motivated him to exhibit excellence in every possible attribute of his game. Well, pretty much like his career, his approach was, too one of a kind, leaving behind a standard for traditional passion and dedication that will go on to inspire athletes across sports.

Kobe Bryant