75 Kobe Bryant Life Quotes About Success, Adversity, Failure & Family

motivational quotes Mar 29, 2024
kobe bryant life quotes

Kobe Bryant's most famous quotes about life:

Kobe Bryant was celebrated for his impressive basketball career and the influence he had on so many people, both on and off the court.

During his 20 year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe won five NBA championships and an NBA MVP award in 2008. He also won two Olympic gold medals and was an 18-time NBA All-Star. Kobe was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Beyond basketball, Kobe had a major impact on millions. His famous "Mamba Mentality" helped inspire people around the world to be their best and seek constant improvement.

The lessons Kobe taught on the basketball court through his "Black Mamba" persona were also relevant off the court. Kobe taught many life lessons through his actions, work ethic, and dedication and determination.

The following quotes from Kobe serve as inspiration for a variety of facets of life - from success and failure, to work ethic and adversity. Use Kobe's words of wisdom as motivation on the basketball court and off.

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Motivational Kobe Quotes About Success

For Kobe, success was about more than just winning basketball awards and championships. His determination to succeed carried over to his career after basketball too.

He was passionate about storytelling and quickly won an Academy Award for his animated short film "Dear Basketball." In his career after basketball, Kobe used the same principles that lead him to basketball success.

To Kobe, success wasn't just about a destination either, but about the journey. A journey of continuous improvement each day and pushing himself outside of his comfort zone so that he could grow and evolve into a better version of himself.

1. "Don't wait for opportunity. Create it. Seize it. Shape it."

2. "Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling."

3. “Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache.”



4. "Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Growth comes at the end of discomfort."

5. "The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win."

6. “I see the beauty in getting up in the morning and being in pain because I know all the hard work that it took to get to this point. So, I’m not, I’m not sad about [retiring]. I’m very appreciative of what I’ve had.”

More quotes: 24 Best Kobe Bryant Mamba Mentality Quotes >> 


Top Kobe Bryant Quotes About Fear & Failure 

Kobe had a unique perspective about fear and failure. He viewed fear as something that shouldn't paralyze you or hold you back, but an emotion to become aware of, acknowledge, and move through. He believed in facing fears head-on and using fear as a catalyst for growth and improvement.

For failure, Kobe saw it not as a setback, but as a necessary part of the journey. To Kobe, failure really didn't even exist. It's just an essential part of growth and success. Kobe understood that to succeed at the highest level, you have to be willing to take risks and fail from time to time.

7. "Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success."

8. "When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself, 'You are a failure,' I think that is almost worse than dying."

9. “There’s nothing truly to be afraid of, when you think about it, because I’ve failed before, and I woke up the next morning, and I’m OK.”

10. "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."



11. "Despite the fear, finish the job."

12. “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”

13. "The last time I was intimidated was when I was six years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s***less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my a**. But then I realized he didn't kick my a** as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of."

14. "I don’t f*** with bees, man. Other than that, I’m not afraid of nothing."

15. "The story continues. If you fail on Monday, the only way it’s a failure is if you decide to not progress from that. To me, that’s why failure is not existent. If I fail today, I’m going to learn something from that failure. I’m going to try again."

16. "The greatest fear that we face is ourselves."

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Kobe On Striving For Greatness 

Kobe Bryant didn't just want to be a good player, he wanted to be great. He wanted to be the best. Seeking greatness didn't stop with basketball either, he wanted to be great in everything he did.

Striving for greatness was a major component of Kobe's Mamba Mentality. It's that little extra that separates the best of the best from all the rest and it was a driving force for Kobe throughout his entire life and basketball career. The following quotes show you what greatness meant to Kobe Bryant.

17. “You have to enter every activity, every single time, with a want and need to do it to the best of your ability.”

18. "Sometimes you need your ego. If you can control it correctly, it can be the difference between excellence and greatness."



19. “From the beginning, I wanted to be the best. I had a constant craving, a yearning, to improve and be the best. I never needed any external forces to motivate me.”

20. “If you really want to be great at something, you have to truly care about it. If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it.”

21. “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.”

22. "We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision."

23. "You have to dance beautifully in the box that you're comfortable dancing in. My box was to be extremely ambitious within the sport of basketball. Your box is different than mine. Everybody has their own. It's your job to try to perfect it and make it as beautiful of a canvas as you can make it. And if you have done that, then you have lived a successful life. You have lived with Mamba Mentality."



24. "A lot of people say they want to be great, but they're not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out. That's totally fine. After all, greatness is not for everybody."

25. "What separates great players from all-time great players is their ability to self-assess, diagnose weaknesses, and turn those flaws into strengths."

26. "I think the definition of greatness is to inspire the people next to you."

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Kobe On Following Your Dreams

One of Kobe's goals throughout his life and career was to leave an impact and inspire others. He wanted to teach the next generation to always follow your dreams and to always believe in yourself. He knew that with passion and a strong work ethic, anything is possible, and he wanted to spread that message. 

27. "You can't stop people from trying to limit your dreams, but you can stop it from becoming a reality. Your dreams are up to you. I encourage you to always be curious, always seek out things you love and always work hard once you find it."

28. "Each moment of my life I was dreaming of how great I could be, and continued working hard. Each time I closed my eyes I could see me shining bright like a sun."

29. "When you make a choice and say, 'Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,' then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that when that moment comes, of course, it is here because it has been here the whole time because it has been [in your mind] the whole time."



30. "When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves."

31. "Dedication sees dreams come true."

32. "Those times when you stay up late and you work hard; those times when don’t feel like working — you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself — but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That’s the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And if you guys can understand that, what you’ll see happen is that you won’t accomplish your dreams, your dreams won’t come true, something greater will."

33. "Be so focused on your own ambitions that no one can distract you from achieving them."

34. "Goals motivate you. Bad habits corrode you."

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Best Kobe Bryant Work Ethic Quotes

It's no secret that Kobe had one of the most elite work ethics. It was the foundation for his success both on and off the court. Kobe's dedication to his craft, discipline, and his relentless pursuit of excellence were unparalleled. Here are some quotes about his work ethic and how important working hard was to him.

35. "I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my game, but I also wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family time. So I sacrificed sleep, and that was that."


36. "I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, that I’m willing to work harder than you."

37. “If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.”

38. “I never felt outside pressure. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and I knew how much work it took to achieve those goals. I then put in the work and trusted in it. Besides, the expectations I placed on myself were higher than what anyone expected from me.”

39. "I'm chasing perfection."

40. “One of the main takeaways was that you have to work hard in the dark to shine in the light. Meaning: It takes a lot of work to be successful, and people will celebrate that success, will celebrate that flash.”

41. "I want to see if I can. I don't know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see. I'm going to do what I always do: I'm going to break it down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it. Day by day, one day at a time."



42. "I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you."

43. "Obsess to find ways to win. Work ethic separates the great from the good."

44. "Have a maniacal work ethic. You want to over-prepare so that luck becomes a product of design."

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Kobe On Overcoming Adversity And Challenge

Despite all the success he had in his career, it wasn't without its challenges. Kobe faced various forms of adversity like injuries, team dynamics, and personal setbacks. Yet as you'll see from the following quotes, Kobe saw adversity as lessons and as opportunities to learn and grow from.

45. “When I have the chance to guard Michael Jordan, I want to guard him. I want him. It’s the ultimate challenge.”

46. “Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”

47. "May you always remember to enjoy the road, especially when it’s a hard one."



48. "Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise."

49. "I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can."

50. "Happiness is such a beautiful journey. It has its ups and downs, whether it’s in marriage or whether it’s in a career. Things are never perfect, but through love, you continue to persevere, and you move through them, you move through them. And then through that storm, a beautiful sun emerges, and inevitably, another storm comes. And guess what? You ride that one out too. So, I think love is a sort of determination, a persistence to go through the good times and the bad times with someone or something you truly love."

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Kobe Sayings About Leadership

Kobe was a vocal leader who lead by example. He wasn't afraid to call out teammates for poor effort or to say what needed to be said. He showed his teammates how hard he worked and he expected them to do the same because he knew that was necessary to win multiple championships.

51. “Leadership is lonely. I’m not going to be afraid of confrontation to get us to where we need to go.”

52. “There’s a big misconception where people thinking winning or success comes from everybody putting their arms around each other and singing kumbaya and patting them on the back when they mess up, and that’s just not reality. If you are going to be a leader, you are not going to please everybody. You have to hold people accountable. Even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.”

53. “A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.”



54. “Good coaches tell you where the fish are, great coaches teach you how to find them.”

55. “The beauty of coaching is growing the players from the ground up. That journey continues.”

56. “Use your success, wealth, and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.”

57. "Good coaches, however, teach you how to think and arm you with the fundamental tools necessary to execute properly."

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Family Quotes From Kobe

Family was extremely important to Kobe. Despite his demanding career, he always placed the emphasis on prioritizing his family. That was a challenge for him and he knew he had to make sacrifices to work as hard as he did while also having time for family. In the following quotes, Kobe talks about what family means to him and the sacrifices he had to make to be there for them throughout his career.

58. "We try to teach the kids what excellence looks like. Right? And it’s not that — some of them may want to play in the WNBA, some of them may not — but we try to give them a foundation for the amount of work and preparation that it takes to be excellent in whatever it is that you choose to do."

59. "I want to make sure the days that I'm away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I'd rather be with them than doing anything else."

60. "Be thankful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing. I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad."



61. “I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my game, but I also wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family time. So I sacrificed sleep, and that was that.”

62. "I can be an absolute teddy bear when I'm at home with my family."

63. "I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I'd rather be with them than doing anything else."

64. "I love telling stories. I love inspiring kids or providing them with tools that are going to help them."

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Other Kobe Bryant Inspirational Quotes

65. "I never tried to prove anything to someone else. I wanted to prove something to myself."

66. "If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will."

67. "It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly."

68. "The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment."

69. "I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose."



70. "The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do." 

71. "Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they've taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences."

72. “To sum up what mamba mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself.”

73. "If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear."

74. "My approach always was that I’d rather risk embarrassment now than be embarrassed later when I’ve won zero titles."

75. "I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it."

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