Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they’ve taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences.
The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.
I love going one-on-one with someone. That’s what I do. I’ve never lost. It’s a whole different game, just to have them right in front of you and be able to do whatever you want.
In an individual sport, yes, you have to win titles. Baseball’s different. But basketball, hockey? One person can control the tempo of a game, can completely alter the momentum of a series. There’s a lot of great individual talent.
If I panic, everyone else panics.
I’m chasing perfection.
Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.
What people see on court is another side of me; it’s not me.
I don’t think a coach becomes the right coach until he wins a championship.
If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.
I’ve got four dogs, and I just don’t do dog doo. I’m a diva when it comes to that.
There’s been a lot of talk of me being a one-man show but that’s simply not the case. We win games when I score 40 points and we’ve won when I score 10.
I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.
I like playing for the purple and gold. This is where I want to finish up.
It’s different from being 21 and you think there’s endless amount of opportunities. At 33, the ending is much, much closer.
I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it’s sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.
I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury – unless it’s completely debilitating – I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming.
I don’t talk trash often, but when I do, I go for the jugular.
I’m not the most patient of people.
I focus on one thing and one thing only – that’s trying to win as many championships as I can.
These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.
I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.
Pooper scooper? Yeah, I’ve done it a few times. Every once in a while, you have to.
Dropkick Murphys get me going, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana… plus, all the regular hip-hop stuff.
The people who truly know me know what I’m like. There have been people who try to say things that aren’t fair, and I check them. And then they don’t like me because I checked them.
Christmas morning, I’m going to open presents with my kids. I’m going to take pictures of them opening the presents. Then I’m going to come to the Staples Center and get ready to work.
People just don’t understand how obsessed I am with winning.
You want me to own a team and deal with these rich, spoiled stubborn athletes, and try to get them to perform? No thank you.
It’s disgusting, but my father taught me when your mouth gets dry, just suck the sweat out of your own jersey. There’s no bravado to any of it; it’s just a disgusting little trick.
It’s hard for me to grasp the concept of somebody being nervous when I’m talking to them.
Eeew, I’d be a little uncomfortable Googling myself. People sit there – and Google themselves? That’s kind of weird.
If there were camera phones back in the day, the biggest athletes in the world would have had a lot of explaining to do.
Magic has five championships. I have five championships. I’m pretty sure we both know what we’re doing.
I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. Scoring titles and stuff like that… it sounds, well, I don’t care how it sounds – to me, scoring comes easy. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.
The only thing I’m afraid of is bees. I don’t like bees. I’m allergic to them.
It never bothered me when people would say, ‘You only win championships because you’re playing with Shaq.’ It bothered me when he said it.
One thing you gotta know about me is I have absolutely no filter. I have no problem saying what the hell I think of someone.
At the end of 2003, my game was complete. Shooting, defense, using the dribble, transition, midrange stuff was all there. Then it was about fine-tuning and trying to improve in each area.
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