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Kobe Bryant’s Inspiration Was Rudy

Even if you can’t stand Notre Dame, it’s hard not to enjoy the sports classic movie Rudy. It’s a touching story that sends a great message about heart, perseverance, and inspiration. Some people think the story was embellished to make the movie more dramatic, but there’s little doubt it’s impacted its viewers. Those viewers even include Kobe Bryant whose work ethic has frequently been lauded by the media.

Arash Markazi of ESPNLA.com had a good story on Thursday about Kobe meeting Rudy Ruettiger, the man who inspired the movie. It was a chance meeting in Sacramento as Rudy’s daughter was singing the national anthem before the Lakers-Kings game. Kobe broke from his pregame routine to speak with Ruettiger and shocked us all with what he said.

“That movie changed my life,” Kobe said. “When I saw it I told myself if I can play as hard as Rudy with the talent I have, anything’s possible. I’ve met a lot of people in my life but that one there, man, that one [messed] me up.”

I’ve always loved watching Rudy and will flip it on whenever it’s playing on TV, but I never thought a movie like that could actually inspire a real athlete to achieve a level of greatness. Now that I know what it did for Kobe, I’m going to pipe that thing on a 24-7 loop for my son in his crib. At least he’d get his work ethic part down, right?


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