Kobe Bryant: ‘When I was 18, Michael Jackson tried to…’

NBA (DR) / Wikimedia Commons

In the madness of the microcosm of Hollywood, everyone rubs shoulders sooner or later, from actors to singers to athletes. This is how Michael Jackson met a young Kobe Bryant, then 18 years old, and tried to introduce him to a practice to which the Mamba was not at first frankly receptive…

Drafted in the NBA when he hadn’t even celebrated his 18th candle yet, Kobe Bryant found himself cast under the lights of Los Angeles at a very young age. If he initially experienced difficulties in imposing himself and finding his cruising speed (we remember in particular his disastrous series of playoffs against the Jazz in 1997), “Bean” quickly became a heavyweight of the city of angels, on and off the pitch.

Michael Jackson’s advice to Kobe Bryant

As soon as he arrived in the league or almost, Los Angeles requires, Kobe had the opportunity to meet a certain Michael Jackson, then all crowned with his hit “You Are Not Alone”. And very quickly, the King of Pop strongly urged the young basketball star to include a new element in his life: meditation.

When I was 18, Michael Jackson tried to get me to meditate. But it was Phil Jackson who really hooked me.

Too immature to understand the benefits of such a practice, the very young Kobe was more taken aback than anything else when the interpreter of “Thriller” advised him to meditate. For a teenager, the advice was more goofy than anything.

Nevertheless, Phil Jackson returned to the charge a few years later, and, unlike his namesake, the “Zen Master” managed to convince Bryant to regularly resort to this practice. In his last years, the five-time NBA champion praised the benefits of meditation, which he had indeed incorporated into his life.

However, Kobe has never forgotten how much the singer’s routine stunned him during their exchanges in the mid-1990s:

Michael Jackson could sit meditating for 7 hours straight, it was crazy. I couldn’t go over 20 minutes!

A few years later, disbelief gave way to acceptance, and Kobe had made a habit of crafting each morning to kick off his day. How everything can change…

Yes therehe advice from Michael Jackson was surely not all good to take on all subjects, the meditation advocated by the King of Pop ended up being accepted by Kobe Bryant… belatedly. And like the Mamba, more and more athletes, artists and celebrities are resorting to this soothing practice.


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