Kobe Bryant has watched the Los Angeles Chargers dominate on the field, winning six-straight games to enter Week 11 with a 7-2 record.
Still, the NBA legend had a message he wanted to give the Bolts.
Thus, Bryant was a surprise visitor at practice on Friday, speaking with the team at the behest of Head Coach Anthony Lynn.
“We have a deal called ‘Wise Words’ (where) a player or a coach (for) two or three minutes will speak to the team, and we just invited Kobe to come speak today,” Lynn said. “He did a heck of a job. He talked about his career, his journey (and) some of the things that helped him along the way. He gave the guys a lot of wise words. We could be here all day talking about how good it was. It was a nice talk.”
The future Hall of Famer had a lot to say, but there was one thing Bryant stressed most of all.
“The most important thing was about the focus,” he said. “When you have a lot of success at the start, it becomes easy to become distracted. You start thinking of things you’ve been doing instead of focusing on the moment and where you are right now. So the most important thing was to keep their focus. They’re rolling, right now. I mean, man, they’re rolling. But like I said, you play great one Sunday, and everyone thinks you’re a world beater and the best thing since sliced bread. And then you lose the next week and all of a sudden you’re (freaking) horrible. So you’ve got to keep perspective.”
It’s a message that resonated with the Chargers.
“That was dope to hear from an all-time great!” said Melvin Gordon. “Anytime you hear from someone like that, you’ve got to take advice from it and implement it to your game. He knows what it takes to win. He knows it best. To listen to someone who is an all-time great like that, you have to take something from it. He knows the formula to win.”
“That was really cool to have him come back since he was here last year,” added Tyrell Williams. “It’s always great to hear from a champion like him. He talked a lot about staying focused through all the success we’ve been having. About how to block out all the outside noise and just keep it going.”
Russell Okung may be one of the Chargers’ captains, but he knows he can learn a thing or two from Bryant on how to further inspire his teammates.
Thus, the left tackle sought out Bryant long after his speech was over to pick his brain even more.
“Kobe is an amazing competitor, and he’s a champion,” Okung said. “His experiences can teach us a lot. We’re chasing to do something great on our own, so we’re going to listen to him. If he tells us to keep our heads down and stay focused at the task at hand, it (resonates). He also gave me some good advice on furthering my transferrable knowledge of teamwork, and also on how to build a team up. It was good.”