“Our rookie year we were playing at Oracle and they had a 3-point lead
down the stretch. He got fouled, going to the free throw line to ice the
game with two free throws.
I walk up to him as he’s walking to the free throw line: “Hey, man, you
nervous about these free throws?” The look he gave me was so just mean
Just like, ‘What are you talking about? Get out of my face,
you dumb rookie.’
He obviously made the two free throws and they won.
I’ll remember that look he gave me forever.”
We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts. He would teach me what he did: How to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it. It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown. That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from Michael Jordan. It’s not from other athletes. It’s from Michael Jackson.
“The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real. I’m not a player that is just going to come and go. I’m not a player that is going to make an all-star team one time, two times. I’m here to be an all-time great… Once I made that commitment and said ‘I want to be one of the greatest ever,’ then the game became everything for me.” - Kobe Bryant
“We bent down at half court, and he wanted to know how, when I turn around on my jump shot, how to feel the defense. I told him he should feel the defense with your legs. Once you feel the defense with your legs, you can take advantage of that.”
“He’s learned how to become a leader in a way in which people want to follow him. That’s really important for him to have learned that because he knew that he had to give to get back in return, and so he’s become a giver rather than just a guy that’s a demanding leader. That’s been great for him and great to watch.”- Phil Jackson
The greatest competition you’ll ever face, is yourself. That’s the greatest challenge. It’s difficult to look inside yourself and face adversity or accept the fact that you may have weaknesses. Once you conquer that, you can conquer anything.
Some of the flagrant fouls that I see called nowadays, it makes me nauseous. You can’t touch a guy without it being a flagrant foul. I like the contact. Back then, if guys put their hands on you, you had to have the skill to be able to go both ways, change direction, post up, you had to have a mid-range game because you didn’t want to go all the way to the basket because you would get knocked ass over tea kettle. So I think playing the game back then required much more skill.