When Kobe Bryant was just starting out in the NBA, he’d spend his free time seeking out quality runs. Even during Laker training camps, sometimes Bryant would sneak off during down time to get in some ball at Venice Beach. He couldn’t help himself. In a way, he’s still doing it, and over the weekend, it surfaced that Bryant went overseas to China to play in the Sprite China Second Annual Charity Basketball Game against a few Chinese pop stars. How’d he do? Apparently, he dropped 68 points… in the second half.
On his Facebook page, Bryant summed it up like this:
The Sprite China 2nd Annual Charity Basketball game was a ton of fun. We played two 15 min halves with a running clock. I watched from the bench for the first half. We were trailing by 9 when I was notified that fans via text can choose a team to add 20 additional points to their tally!!! We were now down 29!! I wanted to play it cool but what the heck, the place was packed with fans who’d sang an early happy birthday to me and really wanted to watch me go to work. My teammates were down. They are all singers/actors and do not play ball much AT ALL, but they are very successful at what they do hence they are VERY competitive. They asked if I could bring them back in the second half..
I didn’t want to disappoint them or the fans that had paid their hard earned money for a show so I took the challenge of really using the second half as a training session for my stamina. I ran and ran and ran. I wound up scoring 68 in the 2nd and we won. Like I said, they are not basketball players by any stretch of the imagination. I was just having fun with all of them and loved hearing the crowd enjoy the show we put on.
They performed some of their number 1 hits. We took pics and signed autographs. I believe we raised 2.6MM RMB for underprivileged youth here in China! That is the MOST important number of the night. Sprite, one of my sponsors, hosted the game. They carry a great message of self-expression: Don’t be afraid to be who you are — by doing, so that you will find your own path and your own greatness as you define it.
Here’s my pic with Jay Chou. For those who might not know he is a HUGE star in China and we have done several China based commercials and events together. He is THE beast of his field.
Tomorrow is my last day in China then it’s back home for some much needed rest :-)
Much love. Mamba.
I’m not sure what’s cooler: Bryant actually going out and literally attempting to demolish these guys (compared to what almost any other superstar would do in this situation), or the fact that he signs his Facebook letters as Mamba. Either way, he dropped buckets, even if the competition looked downright pathetic.
Bryant is turning 34 later this week (August 23). At least you can say he hasn’t lost his edge.
Is this impressive?
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