Not many know the extreme highs of sports success and the painful lows that accompany those momentous high times. Kobe Bryant got together with USA Today and discussed the former champ Ronda Rousey.
“I think the true mark of a champion is how you get up from that, If she goes through her entire career undefeated, she becomes this mythical figure that nobody can relate to. She got beat. We all get beat at some point or another in our lives. Now it’s a matter of how she bounces back from that. I think that’s what makes her a true champion.”
Bryant knows about being compared to greatness and living up to media and fan expectations. For most of his career the NBA star has been compared to one of the most iconic of sports stars, Michael Jordan through a majority of his career. His five NBA championships and 2 MVP awards are only one side of the coin to his storied career.
“I sent her several messages, so yes, we have touched base,” Bryant said. “That’s what it’s about. It’s not about how you win. A true champion is about how you lose and come back from that.
“I told her, ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’ That’s what I told her. I said, ‘To be a true champion sometimes you have to get knocked down.’ It happens to the best of us. It happened with my Achilles [when I tore it], [Muhammad] Ali got put down several times – it happens to the best of us.”
With Bryant knowing a thing or two about championships and adversity, was it sound advice?