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Kobe Bryant shares what he learned most from Dr. Buss: Patience
Before Tuesday's practice in El Segundo, Kobe Bryant addressed the media to discuss the passing of Dr. Jerry Buss. As one would expect from Kobe, his thoughts were interesting, introspective and smart. In particular, I found compelling the response when I asked what Bryant learned most from Buss after spending half his life around him.
"To be patient. To not rush decisions. When you believe in something, you act, despite what public opinion may be. For others, public pressure sometimes can persuade people to making choices that aren't necessarily the best ones. He never did that. He always stuck to his guns and made decisions that he felt were best for the organization.
You have to have strong conviction in what you believe in. You have to know what you want. You have to have a vision. And then you have to go after it. He never made decisions based of fear of criticism or anything like that. He just made sound decisions based on what he felt was right for the team."
For the benefit of the monumentally oblivious, I'll point out that Kobe Bryant is anything but patient by nature. (Just ask Kobe and he'll tell you.) However, it's a mantra he's often repeated throughout trying times, this season being no exception. I imagine he's learned to appreciate this virtue in part due to his time with Phil Jackson, as "big picture" a person as I've met in sports. But there's no question watching Buss formulate decisions through methodical patience has influenced Kobe with the passing years. Patience still may not come as naturally as scoring or breathing to Bryant, but his heartfelt understanding of its value is a tribute to a visionary owner.