It doesn’t matter where you go,’ he wrote. ‘It matters what you do when you get there.  Just go there and work.”

That’s some great advice from any person.  Coming from a future Hall of Famer and champion like Kobe Bryant, that advice takes on a much deeper meaning.

NBA rookie and New Orleans Pelicans guard Buddy Hield left Oklahoma last year with some of the highest praise and accolades of anyone in college basketball.  He led his Sooner team to a run deep in the NCAA Tournament and did it by scoring a lot of points night in and night out.  He never expected to have such advice strung his way early in his career from such a legend like Kobe.

Buddy was waiting to get drafted int he 2016 NBA Draft and got the words of advice from Bryant. Simple, but meaningful nonetheless.  Kobe saw what many will see in a few years.  A guy who can really score and has the body for the league, but needs a couple years to mature and understand how to play and be effective in the NBA.  Soon after the draft, he got another invite to workout with Kobe in L.A.  Are you serious?!  What player in their right mind wouldn’t want to workout with a guy who won 5 NBA championships?

I love this article because it encompasses the true process from NBA veteran and champion in Kobe and the young rookie in Buddy Hield who is trying to learn everything he can.  Buddy goes on to say that he tried to soak up as much of his time iwth Kobe as possible.  The things that impressed him most?  The recently retired Black Mamba was more methodical than ever with the workout.  Each move was done the same way, every time.  he made sure that Buddy copied the move exactly how it should.  If not, 20 more reps until he gets it down.

Buddy is one of the older-tier guys to come out of the draft.  He played multiple years in college and then went to the league.  Even with this extra maturity, he still admits that he is learning a lot and needs to adjust to the life of the NBA.  To be the best, its all work, some play.  The play comes far after the work.

The other thing i love about what Buddy wrote?  He UNDERSTANDS this will take time.  He knows that he is not going to start game 1 of his rookie year and score 30.  He knows that he may not win ROY honors.  What he does know is that he controls the work he puts in and the amount of effort to be the best player that he can be.  The beautiful thing for him is that he is playing with a New Orleans team that will allow him to get minutes his rookie season and transition as he needs to.

Too many fans today think that the young stars should be ready to go from the combine, to the Summer League, right into stardom.  Those are rare cases.  You don’t see guys like Karl Anthony-Towns, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis come right into the league and make their presence known.  Joel Embiid says it best.  The Process.  That’s what the NBA is all about.  Ask any of the guys who have played 10-plus years.  They will tell you that it didn’t come year 1 when they found out how to make a career playing professional basketball.

Buddy, keep doin’ you man.  This last statement says it all

“Now comes the work part. And that part… you can’t make that part up.”