Thoughts on Kobe Bryant

The sad news that Kobe Bryant recently passed away along with his daughter in a helicopter crash reminded me of a blog I wrote a few years ago when Kobe set the NBA record for missed field goal attempts. As noted in the blog below entitled Failure is an Option, Kobe’s greatness was not only the number of points he scored or the longevity of his career, but his willingness to risk failure time and time again in an effort to succeed.

The blog was written when Kobe was still playing. His final career stats included making 11,719 field goals and missing 14,481 out of 26,200 attempts for a 44.7% lifetime field goal percentage.

Failure is an Option (A Tribute to Kobe Bryant)

It was a big deal last week when Kobe Bryant became the all-time leader in missed field goal attempts in the NBA. As of this writing, he had missed 13,421 field goal attempts and counting. But there is a big problem with focusing on that “negative” supremacy. The real point (pun intended) is that it takes failing that many times to also make 11,121 field goals and be considered one of the best to ever play the game. A .453 lifetime field goal percentage for a guard is phenomenal. You have to fail 13,421 times to succeed 11,121 times.

If we don’t risk failure, we will never achieve success. Kobe Bryant has risked failure 24,542 times. That is 32 times for every hour he plays. How many times have you risked failure in the past 40-hour week you worked – was it 1,280 times like Kobe? We like to tell our kids that sports teach a lot of life lessons. Maybe the most important lesson is that you have to take risks in order to succeed.

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