Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson lived a different life growing up than most of us, or even most baseball players. While a lot of ballplayers grow up around baseball, Trayce is the son of an NBA basketball player and the brother of two others.
Mychal Thompson’s NBA playing career ended while Trayce was still in diapers, but his post-playing career kept him involved, first with the Portland Trail Blazers and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Because of those associations, Trayce got to interact with some pretty big names in the basketball world.
Trayce was recently on AM570 LA Sports Radio, home of the Dodgers, and he talked about one important lesson he learned from the late, great Kobe Bryant. Not surprisingly, the lesson didn’t come from any words the former Lakers great said, but from his actions.
“Just getting there early and seeing him always working. And it wasn’t just in front of people — he would do stuff when nobody was there, do stuff when nobody was looking, and that’s stuff that really resonated with me. Nobody has to see you work. You don’t have to validate what you’re doing to anybody. As long as you know and you can look in the mirror and know that you’re prepared and you did everything you could and gave it your all, it’s easy to sleep at night. And I feel like Kobe was the poster child for that.”AM570 LA Sports Radio, home of the Dodgers
Kobe’s work ethic was legendary, and Trayce got to see it firsthand. It’s easy to work hard when you know the cameras are rolling, but Kobe ingrained in Trayce the idea that work counts no matter who sees it. The cameras aren’t rolling often enough to get good at shooting free throws or hitting curveballs; there will have to be plenty of that thankless, private work to really be the best you can be.
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