What Businesses Can Expect From the Phase 4 Stimulus Package

Congress is set to begin negotiations on the next round of stimulus. For business owners, new measures could bring more tax relief, renewed access to forgivable loans, and more.

With prior stimulus measures set to expire in the next few weeks and the economy continuing to falter as the pandemic resurges across the country, Congress will meet this week and next to hammer out a new relief measure. 

The House already passed its Phase 4 bill, known as the Heroes Act, in May. The $3.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill would provide assistance to state and local governments, extend enhanced unemployment benefits, and offer additional economic impact payments to taxpayers, among other things. The bill has been up for review since the end of May, though Senate Republicans, who prefer a measure with a far lower price tag, have been loath to consider it. They’re expected to introduce their own version of a relief bill this week that will have to be reviewed and negotiated between the two chambers before theyrecess in early August.

Several economic proposals that will affect small and midsize businesses have been building consensus among lawmakers for weeks, so the final version of the Senate bill could contain elements of all of them.

Here are six things you likely can expect from the Phase 4 bill.

1. The PPP will go on, but in a different form.

The Paycheck Protection Program, the $669 billion forgivable loan program aimed at beleaguered small businesses, will continue, predicts Neil Bradley, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. At the very least, he says, there will be a continuation of the program, which was recently extended through August 8.

It’s also possible the PPP will become more targeted. Testifying at a House Small Business Committee hearing Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed interest in “topping off” the approximately $130 billion in remaining funds and extending the program. But he noted that it would need to be focused on certain industries like hotels and restaurants that can demonstrate actual losses, resulting from the pandemic. “This time we need to do a revenue test,” he said. 

A proposal that has been gaining ground with lawmakers, dubbed the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or P4, offers to extend the PPP and open it up to companies that already received PPP loans (excepting for publicly traded companies), as long as they can show financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

There’s been widening support for streamlining the PPP forgiveness process, too. While certain loans are now eligible for the EZ loan forgiveness application, there’s greater interest in easing things further for smaller businesses by automatically forgiving all PPP loans under $150,000 or $250,000. On that note, Mnuchin at Friday’s Small Business Committee meeting confirmed interest in blanket forgiveness. “Yes, that’s something we should consider,” he told lawmakers.

2. Local communities will get a boost.

The next iteration of relief funding likely also will focus on companies in low-income and rural areas, as well as minority-owned businesses, which experienced difficulty accessing the PPP. Bradley notes that the Recharge and Empower Local Innovation and Entrepreneurs Fund (RELIEF) for Main Street Actwould earmark $50 billion for cities, counties, and states to support small business local relief funds. One of the key flaws of the PPP is that it failed to reach the smallest businesses and minority-owned companies that often did not have traditional banking relationships prior to the pandemic. As this program would be run through local institutions–and not banks–the effort is seen as potentially better suited to reach these businesses. While the U.S. Treasury would operate the program, as written in the bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in mid-May, banks would not be involved.

Funding for block grants, operated by states and local governments, could also get replenished. The Cares Act initially provided $150 billion in federal aid to state and local governments across the country, some of which went toward grant funding for local business. 

3. More tax relief is on the way.

Currently, PPP funds don’t count as taxable income, but an Internal Revenue Service ruling prevented businesses from being able to deduct traditional business expenses paid for by those funds if forgiven. That may change soon. A bill that would allow the deduction with some guardrails, called the Small Business Expense Protection Act, was introduced in the Senate in early May.

The Phase 4 bill also is expected to bolster and expand access the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), says Bradley. Currently, companies that have tapped the PPP can’t access the ERTC, which was enacted as part of the Cares Act to incentivize businesses hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic to retain employees. As part of a proposal, dubbed the Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success Credit (or JOBS Credit) Act, which was introduced in May, the refundable tax credit–now equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in qualified quarterly wages–would increase to 80 percent of up to $15,000 in wages each quarter for up to three quarters. Bradley adds that there’s also potential for the ERTC to expand eligible expenses to include a limited amount of fixed costs.

4. Stimulus checks will be back but they may be less generous.

The Heroes Act passed by the House supports another round of stimulus checks that the Cares Act authorized in March for millions of taxpayers: individuals earning under $75,000 would get $1,200, while married couples with less than $150,000 in adjusted gross income would get $2,400. The bill also would provide an additional $1,200 for up to three dependents, regardless of age. 

Senate Republicans are likely to take a more conservative approach to the payments. Last week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the next round of stimulus checks may be less than $1,200, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in early July stated the next round of stimulus checks may be limited to those with incomes of around $40,000.

5. Enhanced unemployment benefits will continue, but get a haircut.

The Cares Act’s enhanced unemployment insurance, which offered an additional $600 per week on top of existing state benefits, is set to expire at the end of July. Many employers found the measure complicated the task of rehiring employees, who were suddenly earning more on unemployment than at their former jobs.

To avoid that issue–but also ensure laid off or furloughed workers have support–Bradley says that lawmakers are considering more targeted subsidies that would vary the amount offered on a federal level to better coordinate with what’s available at the state level. So between the variable federal supplement and those provided by each respective state, unemployment benefits would replace 80 to 90 percent of a worker’s former wages, up to a maximum federal benefit of an additional $400 per week.

The enhanced benefits also may come with a hiring bonus. The Paycheck Recovery Act, proposed in mid-May, offers low-wage workers–those earning less than $40,100 annually–a $1,500 rehiring bonus upon returning to work.

6. Businesses will receive greater liability protections.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made no secret of his desire to see greater liability protections for employers. The details of his approach are still unclear, though Bradley says it’s likely that the Phase 4 bill will allow for some form of safe harbor for companies that make good-faith efforts to follow public-health guidelines.

This article was written by Diana Ransom for Inc.com

The Impact Of Coronavirus: Advice For Funded Small Businesses And Those Seeking Funding

Smiling female owner taking steps to protect and grow her business.

“Spend every dollar as if it were your last.” This is a quote from Sequoia Capital, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. No, this was not a quote from yesterday but from 2008 when we entered what would be called the “Great Recession.” While the coronavirus is probably not going to lead the USA or the world into a recession, it certainly will cause a significant disruption.

Perhaps, not so ironically, Sequoia just issued another message to its funded companies last week where they communicated that the “Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020.” The message had three parts. One, stay healthy and safe regarding family and friends. Two, disruptions are/would be occurring as it related to business revenue, supply chain and travel. Three, they offered advice and counsel across six major areas that included cash runway, sales and marketing forecasts and critical operations expenses.

While the effect of the coronavirus seems surreal and that opportunities are limited, remember this: lots of successful companies have been created in downturns. Adversity sometimes brings out the best in us as we move to be as creative and innovative as possible, not to succeed but to survive. Uber, AirBnb, WhatsApp, Square, Pinterest, Slack and Twilio were all started in 2008 and 2009.

Here is some advice that pertains to funded startups, startups seeking funding and also to small businesses.Today In: Small Business

Manage your cash. You know the saying, “save your money for a rainy day”; well, that day is now. Examine the cash you have on hand and imagine how you could make it last for at least six to nine months. And it you don’t have enough cash on hand, look at how you could cut expenses or increase sales by doing something different.

Examine or revise your sales forecasts. Don’t fool yourself and believe your most optimistic projections. Get very realistic. The goal is not to hunker down and hide but to devise or brainstorm ways you could actually sell more of your products or services. Perhaps it’s new markets, customers or leveraging a partnership.

More creativity, less cash for marketing. Remember when you started your business and had no money and you were super creative on using word of mouth, organic social media and key networks to sell your product or service? Well, get back into that mentality. Be more creative with respect to your marketing expenses and look for ways to use marketing tactics that don’t have a significant cost.

Control employee expenses. As you examine your business, look to control expenses related to employees. Travel and event costs probably can be controlled. If you were looking at increasing your business footprint, you might want to hold off on any additional monthly rent expenses. Instead, see if you can temporarily reduce your expenses by not hiring any additional employees, perhaps use freelancers or contractors. Also, let your current employees work remotely. To help with any workload issues, consider hiring a college intern. 

Spend every dollar as if it were your last. Okay, this sounds a bit extreme but you need to embrace the mentality that you need to protect the lifeblood of any business. Cash. Either cash going out in the form of expenses or cash coming in from revenues. You might also be able to negotiate with your suppliers or landlords, letting them know you need some form of cooperation in order to survive. If you do cut employee expenses, look for ways to inexpensively keep employee morale high.

Startups and small businesses that survived 2008 and beyond didn’t take life-threatening risks with their companies. Survival mattered more than market domination. Take the necessary steps so that you come out of this disruption stronger than ever.

This article was written by Bernhard Schroeder for Forbes.com

How To Understand The Dynamics Of Business Transformation: Three Top-Of-Mind Questions For Every CEO

When the clarion call of transformation is heard in a business, how does talent at different levels of the organization respond? What is top of mind for CEOs, and how does that mirror or differ from how senior vice presidents, department directors and front-line managers think and act?

What’s certain is that clarion call to reimagine and reengineer the business is getting louder. Only 8% of CEOs believe their business model will remain economically viable if the current pace of digitization of their industry continues, according to McKinsey.

This imperative to anticipate market changes, deploy new technologies, and embrace shifting customer and workplace demographics will drive companies worldwide to invest $7.4 trillion on digital transformation over the next three years, IDC forecasts. And the problem, as McKinsey also often reminds us, is that 70% of efforts to implement complex, transformational change will fail. That’s more than $5 trillion down the drain over the next three years if IDC’s estimate is right.

What the 30% get right is the human dynamics of transformation. Human dynamics matter: They are the connective tissue between strategy, outputs and outcomes. Ultimately, they reflect what I call the last-mile challenge of translating a bold idea in a boardroom into practical actions by the front-line teams tasked with the work that will realize extraordinary goals.

Through a series of articles, I’m going to explore how transformation plays out through the layers of a business — by role — and hopefully encourage a little more empathy up, down and across the org chart.

The CEO’s perspective

Let’s start at the top of the org chart with three questions about transformation that should be top of mind for CEOs.

1. How do I get our strategy to the last mile?

You’ll expend much of your energy in a constant conversation at speed and scale with the whole business about why change is necessary, what impact it will have and what teams must do differently. If I had the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with each of the 1,021 people that work at Workfront, I could explain our strategy and key activities and show how their work fits into that picture.

But that’s impractical and inefficient. I need technology to scale-up that iterative conversation, and I need talented front-line managers to ensure tasks reflect strategic priorities. Essentially, you need to increase the cycle time of “formulation communication” — the discourse between you and front-line talent as they try to understand what you’re asking so they can translate goals into actions for their teams.

And you will have to change the medium in which you communicate. I spent four years writing emails and doing town halls about our defining objectives before being encouraged to try videos. I did a series of six videos and the feedback was, “Oh, I didn’t know we had four goals.”

There’s a generation of goal-setting software and collaboration tools like Slack and Teams to harness and match the way people consume information so you can increase the quality and velocity of how your strategy translates to execution.

2. How can I tell if the right work is happening?

In 1975, Steven Kerr of Ohio State University wrote about the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B. Yet 45 years later, businesses are still trying to monitor the work through the lens of performance and pay systems. Do you think you’re going to get to the truth if you require people to communicate the status of work through the systems and conversations that have traditionally been reserved for lizard brain pay-related discussions? You won’t. And it’s not their fault — it’s yours for putting the conversation on the wrong railroad track.

What you really need to establish is whether the work going on day to day is connected to the strategy. You need to extract discussion of individual pay and performance from the fundamental question of whether the right work is happening to deliver your strategy. You need a work performance management system and a people performance management system.

3. Are there enough resources to deliver the strategy?

When your manufacturing capacity is humans, how do you know you’ve got the resources to execute your strategy? How hard do you push the organization?

Unfortunately, CEOs have the potential to run over people in discussions about resourcing. When they need to be told the truth about what’s required to get the job done, sometimes people stay silent (because they don’t feel they can talk back to the boss). What’s really required (and it’s something you need to encourage) is candid dialogue about productivity, resourcing, strategic requirements and the trade-offs that will play out in the decisions you make.

People can do more with better tools and clarity of purpose. But expecting productivity, outputs and outcomes to improve when your team is already running flat out is wishful thinking. And here you’ll see the interdependency of the three top-of-mind questions. If everyone in the discussion understands the strategy and how it connects to the day-to-day work that’s already getting done, then that candid conversation about resourcing is built on a foundation of certainty and clarity. If there’s low-value work that’s crowding out time for strategically important tasks in people’s schedules, that’s the place to start looking for capacity.

Clarity of thought, word and deed sounds like a simple combination for a CEO to get to green on transformation. But you will only succeed with collaborative communications technologies that cut across the complex network of interdependencies that make up the modern enterprise and allow conversations and decisions to flow at speed and scale.

Now, you’d imagine that an SVP would be among the first to align with a CEO’s thinking. But what’s the reality? What’s actually top of mind for SVPs when it comes to managing strategic change? That’s the dynamic of transformation I’ll explore in my next article.

This article was written by Alex Shootman for Forbes.com

As Kobe Bryant Turns 41, These Insane Work Ethic Stories Reveal Ways He Became Great

Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players on the planet. If you were to put a Mount Rushmore of ballers out there, the Los Angeles Lakers’ legend’s face may just be on it, given the fact he won five NBA titles and racked up 33,643 career points — which is good enough for third on the league’s all-time scoring list.

What’s even more impressive is what Bryant has done since retiring from basketball in 2016. In addition to the sports accolades, Kobe’s won an Academy Award for his animated short film “Dear Basketball,” and continues to inspire people with his book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. It’s really incredible to see a superstar athlete transition from hoops success to business success so seamlessly.

But, like most successful people out there, Kobe Bryant hasn’t accomplished all that he has by sheer talent alone. Sure, that’s helped, but really separates the basketball icon from other people is his work ethic — which is legendary.

As Bryant turns 41 years old, we look at 41 stories that prove just how insane his passion and desire to be the best really is. So let these serve as motivation for you to roll up your sleeves, push yourself and achieve everything you want to.

Kobe Bryant’s 40-Mile Bike Ride

Bryant told his longtime trainer, Tim Grover, that he wanted to add in bike training to his summer conditioning. Grover researched a trail in Las Vegas, rented three bikes — one for Bryant, one for himself and one for Bryant’s security guard — and on the night before the first day of practice, they each put on headlamps and headed out to the trail and rode.

“We finished up around 2 a.m.” Grover said. “And we were back in the gym working out by 7:30 in the morning.”

Kobe Used To Challenge High School Teammates To One-On-One Games To 100

Talk about exhausting, right? Kobe Bryant didn’t need a quick game to 10, but, instead, used to play a benchwarmer on his high school team in one-one-one in games to 100. As the legend goes, even in Bryant’s worst game, he still won 100-12.

Shaquille O’Neal Says Bryant Used To Practice Without A Basketball To Get In Shape

Shaq wrote in his book: “You’d walk in there and he’d be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”

Kobe Bryant’s Game Day Pushups Were More Intense Than An Earthquake

From ESPN’s Rick Reilly: “Among a dozen other drills, Bryant does suicide push-ups. At the top of the pushup, he launches himself off the mat so hard that both his feet come off the ground and his hands slap his pecs. He does three sets of seven of these. This makes me turn away and whimper softly.”

Bryant’s Always Studied Himself And Teammates (Even During Halftime Of Games)

According to ESPN’s Jackie McMullen in 2010: “He often corrals teammates, fires up the laptop, and shows them precisely how they can carve out easier shots for themselves.”

Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic Even Impressed Kevin Durant

“We had the day off, but they said we could get some shots up if we wanted, so I decided to head over to the gym with [Oklahoma City teammate] Jeff Green. “Kobe [Bryant] was the only guy on the bus to the gym, and that spoke volumes to me — he’s the best player in the game, yet he’s always willing to come work on his game, so that kind of motivated me and Jeff,” Durant said. “He went by himself, he got a lot of shots up, and by the time he was done you could see he had gotten better over that hour. Like I said, it was a big inspiration to me and Jeff.”

When Kobe Bryant Nearly Led His Team From An Absurd Comeback, Per Tyson Chandler

“The thing that makes him so unstoppable is that he never stops coming. This year we were up in New Orleans by like 12 in the 4th quarter with 5-6 minutes left, and we pretty much had the game in control. And (Kobe) was there on the free throw line and he was like ‘You know I ain’t going to let us lose right?’, and I looked back at him and I was like ‘What!? Man I ain’t letting my team lose!’. And he was like ‘Alright but I just know I ain’t going to let my team lose.’ And I went back at him ‘Well I ain’t going to let my team lose!’

“Right after that, man… he ran off like 15 straight points on us. And I was looking at the scoreboard going ‘Come on, let the time run down’, and I’m like he can’t beat us single-handedly especially after I was just sitting there talking crap back and forth to him.

“We ended up winning the game, but he almost beat us! He almost beat us by himself. But his drive, looking into his eyes, some guys can say ‘Yeah we gonna win the game’.

When Bryant Changed The Work Ethic Of His Team USA Teammates

After training for three weeks together before heading to Beijing, former U.S. Olympic teammate Carlos Boozer noticed the entire roster had adopted Bryant’s routine.

“We all clung to it,” said Boozer, who later played with Bryant as a member of the Lakers in 2014-15 and recently agreed to a deal to play in China. “It soon became our workout, not just his workout.”

When Hall Of Fame Center Hakeem Olajuwon Helped Bryant Perfect His Post Moves

Just a week before training camp began in September 2009, the Olajuwon gave Bryant a two-hour step-by-step lesson on everything from head fakes and ball fakes to spin moves and jab steps.

“It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to work with him, and I want to make him proud of what I’ve learned,” Bryant said. “I have wanted to work with him in the past, but the timing was right this year. I got a chance to work with the greatest post player ever. I’ve always been a student of the game, and he was very patient with me.”

Michael Jordan Compared Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic To His Own

From Roland Lazenby, author of “Michael Jordan: The Life”, per L.A. Times: “He said Kobe had done that work to deserve the comparison. He says Kobe’s the only one to have done the work.”

During His Rookie Year, Bryant Was Found Getting Shots In… In A Dark Gym

Per Business Insider: “I heard the ball bouncing. No lights were on. Practice was at about 11, it was probably about 9, 9:30. And I go out to the court and I look, and there’s Kobe Bryant. He’s out there shooting in the dark. And I stood there for probably about ten seconds, and I said, ‘This kid is gonna be great.’”

Even With A Cast On His Hand, Bryant Was Still Getting In Work

According to former teammate John Celestand: Celestand was excited, because he thought with Kobe injured, he could beat him to the gym in the morning, particularly because Bryant lived over 30 minutes away from the practice facility.

“Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.”

Bryant Shot Left-Handed During A Game After Injuring His Right Shoulder

He actually made one of the shots, too, after insisting he return to the game.

Dwyane Wade And Chris Bosh Were Sleeping As Kobe Bryant Was Working Out

Per ESPN: “We’re in Las Vegas and we all come down for team breakfast at the start of the whole training camp,” Bosh said. “And Kobe comes in with ice on his knees and with his trainers and stuff. He’s got sweat drenched through his workout gear. And I’m like, ‘It’s 8 o’clock in the morning, man. Where in the hell is he coming from?’”

Wade added: “Everybody else just woke up… We’re all yawning, and he’s already three hours and a full workout into his day.”

Bryant Was Obsessed With Perfection

According to a piece from Ball is Life, a Team USA trainer said that Kobe Bryant once held a workout from 4:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., refusing to leave the gym until he made 800 shots.

Bryant Would Use Teammates As Guinea Pigs After Practice

Per Sports Illustrated: In 2008, Sports Illustrated reported that Kobe will keep random players after practice so that he can try out new moves on them

Scouts Praised Kobe Bryant For Doing More Than Other NBA Superstars

Per Sports Illustrated: An NBA scout said in 2008, “Allen Iverson loves to play when the lights come on. Kobe loves doing the s— before the lights come on.”

O.J. Mayo Once Confused 3 A.M. For 3 P.M. When Training With Kobe Bryant

Per CBS Sports: In 2007, O.J. Mayo was the top recruit at Bryant’s Kobe Basketball Academy. Mayo asked Kobe to work out with him and Bryant graciously accepted. Kobe said he’d pick him up at three. After Bryant failed to show up, Mayo asked Kobe what happened. “Three in the morning,” Kobe replied. “Not three in the afternoon.”

Bryant Stuck To A Strict Diet To Maintain His Advantage And Physique

He eliminated sugar and pizza and only eats lean meat.

He told ESPN: “There aren’t really any supplements that I’m taking from that perspective. What I’ve done really is just train really hard and watch my diet. I think that’s the thing that catches guys most. They don’t do self assessing.”

He Wasn’t Going To Cut Corners, Even When It Came To Telling His Own Story

Per Business Insider, Kobe Bryant once trashed a documentary about himself and started from scratch after being unsatisfied with how the original one turned out.

Kobe Bryant Will Cold-Call Entrepreneurs And Successful Business People To Get Advice

Per Bloomberg: “I’ll just cold call people and pick their brain about stuff. Some of the questions that I’ll ask will seem really, really simple and stupid, quite honestly, for them. But if I don’t know, I don’t know. You have to ask. I’ll just do that. I’ll just ask questions and I want to know more about how they build their businesses and how they run their companies and how they see the world.”

Billionaire Investor Chris Sacca Said Bryant Studied Hard AF About Investing

Per Bill Simmons’ Podcast: “For the next few months my phone never stops buzzing in the middle of the night. It’s Kobe, reading this article, checking out this tweet, following this guy, diving into this Ted Talk, diving into the Y Combinator Demo Day stuff. And I’m getting these texts, literally two or three in the morning, and my wife is like, ‘Are you having an affair with Kobe Bryant? What is happening here?’”

Kobe Bryant Goes Above And Beyond Showcasing His Passion In Everything He Does

Per ESPN: “We are obsessive,” Bryant said. “We wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than what we are doing. That’s where obsession comes in — when you care about something 24 hours a day.

When Bryant Taught Jay Williams What It Really Meant To Put In Work

During a regular season game against the Championship Lakers, Jay took the court for practice four hours before the game against Lakers, but he was shocked to see Kobe practicing already. Williams practiced for an hour and after he was done practicing, he sat down, but he still heard the ball bouncing.

Jay was shocked, because Kobe had been in a dead sweat when he got there for practice, and he was still going after Jay got done. He also added that Kobe was not practicing lazy or nonchalant moves, but full-on game moves.

Kobe scored 40 points that night and torched Jay and the Bulls. Williams therefore decided to go ask Bryant why he was in the gym for so long. When Jay finally asked him, the Black Mamba replied, “Because I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, I am willing to work harder than you. You inspire me to be better.”

Jay also revealed that it was the first time that he saw this level of competitiveness and he told himself, “I need to start doing more.”

Shaquille O’Neal Describes Bryant As A ‘Scientific Dawg’

Per L.A. Times: “Kobe is a scientific dawg,” O’Neal wrote. “He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs. Kobe will always have the edge because of his range and killer instinct. LeBron has the killer instinct, but he can’t shoot like Kobe can.”

Jamal Crawford Heard Kobe Bryant Once Practiced Just One Shot For An Hour Straight

Per The Players’ Tribune: “I heard one time in a workout that he practiced a shot for an hour. The same shot. For one hour. And it wasn’t like a three-pointer, it was a little shot in the mid-range area. Do you know how tedious that is? Do you know how locked in you have to be to do one shot for an hour? To trick your mind that way? That’s unbelievable.”

Bryant’s Former Teammate, Tony Gaffney, Detailed Kobe’s Routine

Per Basketball Insiders: If the Lakers had a 10:30 a.m. practice, Bryant would be in the gym at 6:00, take his daughters Natalia and Gianna to school at 8:00, then come back around 9:00 to shoot some more.

“No one would have any idea that he’s been in the gym working for three-to-four hours,” Gaffney said

Kobe Bryant Would Count The 400 Shots He Put Up During Practice

Per Sports Illustrated: Later, as he toweled down and sat for an interview, he was asked if he had a certain shooting routine.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I go from spot to spot. Today I quit when I made 400 shots.”

How do you know?

“What do you mean, How do I know? I know because I counted them.”

Former Team USA Teammate Carlos Boozer Described Bryant’s Unmatched Dedication

“You know what it was for me? And me and him are good friends, but I hadn’t really trained with him — is how hard he works. We saw his dedication to the game. He would get in the gym, lift weights, he would go over to the gym, get shots up before practice, go through the whole practice, and that was his routine every day. He’s not great by accident is my point. He puts the work in. And I think what I learned about Kobe is he’s so hungry to be good, he puts the work in. I just think his hunger and his determination is what I was most impressed with.”

Syracuse And Former Team USA Coach Jim Boeheim Described Bryant As The ‘Hardest-Working Player’ He’s Ever Been Around

“Kobe, from day one, is just the hardest-working player I’ve ever been around. He just does an unbelievable job. He came in, he worked out before practice and practiced harder than anybody and then worked out afterwards and continued the whole trip. The first trip we are qualifying and then the Olympics themselves. He’s just an unbelievable competitor and in practice goes 100 percent every day in practice and that brings everybody else up to that same level. He was a huge part of us being ready in the Olympics to be able to win.”

Former NBA All-Star Gary Payton Recounts Kobe Bryant’s High Expectations For Himself

Per Phil Star: “Kobe was so young and so immature in some ways, but I can tell you this: everything Kobe is doing now, he told me all the way back then he was going to do it. We were sitting on the bus once and he told me, ‘I’m going to be the number one scorer for the Lakers, I’m going to win five or six championships, and I’m going to be the best player in the game.’

“I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’ Then he looked me right in the eye and said, ‘I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA.’”

Former Teammate Laron Profit Couldn’t Believe Bryant’s Determination In A 3-On-3 Game

Per StationCaster: “We were playing a pick-up game before the season started, we were playing 3-on-3, and it was game point.

“Kobe had the ball and it came off, Kwame knocked the ball away from him. Again [this was] a pick-up game, September, nothing on the line. And the ball rolled to half court.

“Kobe then ran to half-court, dived under Kwame’s legs with the ball for about 10 feet, picked the ball up, came back down, made some incredible move, then hit the game-winning shot to end the pick-up game.

“I walked off the court, and I called my mom, and I said, “I think I’ve just seen the second best player ever [behind Jordan].”

How Kobe Bryant Is ‘An Alien’ Because Of The Things He Does

Per Complex: Stu Lantz said, “​I tease him all the time, about not being from this planet. I call him a semi-alien. Because some of the things he does, the way he prepares, the way he can play through pain. It’s not usual. He hurt his shoulder in Minnesota and they told him he was going to be out like 6 weeks. I think he was out like a week. That’s not human.”​

Bryant’s Unwillingness To Ever Give Up… Even If It’s A Ping-Pong Game

Per Complex: Mike Trudell said, “Inside this room there’s a Ping-Pong table and some of us are playing, and I grew up with a Ping-Pong table, so I’m pretty good.

“At some point, Kobe makes a comment about one of the players I had just beaten. So I said, ‘Kobe if you want to, I’m happy to give some to you next.’ So, we play the first game and you can tell he can play, but he’s not a super experienced Ping-Pong player, so I sense a couple weaknesses and beat him rather handedly the first game. He is talking a bit of shit, mostly just calling me a MF-er.

“But, the reason I’m telling this story is not as a humble brag but because during the entire game, he was literally watching every point and learning as the game is going on. So, we get done with the game, and he wants to go again. Now, I beat him again the second time, but he got much closer.

“Within 5 minutes, he was taking the Ping-Pong game so seriously, and I thought, this is why he’s so great at basketball. I’ve never competed against anybody in anything, and I played a D1 sport, that felt as intense as that Ping-Pong game.”​

The Time Bryant Went From Drinking Beer To Working Out Within A Few Hours… And Winning A Championship Later That Day

Per Complex: Arash Markazi said, “2009 NBA Finals in Orlando, going into the clinching game, Game 5. I was covering for Sports Illustrated at the time and they put me up at the team hotel. I had been out with some other reporters, and I came back to the hotel and saw Kobe Bryant in the hotel lobby bar at 2 a.m., sipping on a Corona, talking to his friends, enjoying himself.

“I went back up to my hotel room, but couldn’t really sleep that night, so I took a walk around the hotel around 4 or 5 in the morning, and I see Kobe leaving the hotel gym in a full sweat, and the sun wasn’t even out yet. I had heard all these stories about Kobe’s insane training, but you never know if those are real or hyperbole. Then I had that experience. They clinched the next day.”​

Kobe Bryant Taught Former Teammate Luke Walton About Showing Up Hungover On His Watch

Per Silver Screen And Roll: Walton said, “I probably had too much to drink the night before,” Walton recalled. “So I came in, I was a rookie, I felt good, and they could smell some alcohol on me, and Kobe informed the rest of the team that nobody was allowed to help me on defense, and that I had to guard him the entire practice.

“And I was laughing at first, like ‘oh, this is funny,’ Walton continued. “But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, he was like ‘no, I see and smell weakness, I’m going to destroy you today.’ He taught me a lesson (laughing), he taught me a lesson. He probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help, but none of my teammates would help. His killer instinct, and his work ethic will stick with me forever.”

Hearing Kobe’s Own Words On Greatness Shows A Lot About Him

“If you really want to be great at something, you have to truly care about it,” writes Bryant. “If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. A lot of people say they want to be great but are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness.”

Bryant Followed A ‘666’ Workout Plan

The numbers represent Kobe Bryant’s wild daily workout plan, which consisted of doing six hours a day, six days a week for six months in the offseason. The six hours of training consists of two hours of running, two hours of basketball and two hours of weightlifting.

Bryant Even Demanded His Nike Shoes Gave Him A Small Advantage

Per Sports Illustrated: He had Nike shave a few millimeters off the bottom of his shoes in 2008 to get “a hundredth of a second better reaction time.”

Even In High School, Bryant Was Putting In Work That Showed His Greatness

According to a Sports Illustrated piece, Kobe Bryant used to practice at five in the morning while in high school, ending his workout at 7 a.m. because school started shortly after.

Kobe Bryant Sums Up His Greatness With How He Wants To Be Remembered

Per Yahoo!: “To think of me as a person that’s overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange that I could.”

This is an article from: https://shutupnhustle.com/2019/08/23/kobe-bryant-work-ethic-stories/