Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, could have been an earlier version of Magic Johnson in the ’70s.
Kobe’s father was a strong, flexible, creative and talented basketball showman. At 6’9″ he could shoot, dribble, pass and played unlike any other big guy at the time.
The era of the half-court sniping Lebron Jameses was still far away, and he stood out.
But doing a lot of things well is not the same as doing them exceptionally well.
From “Showboat” by Roland Lazemby:
[Joe Bryant] wasn’t quite quick enough to be a great guard, not quite athletic enough to be an exceptional forward, not strong enough to work regularly at center… Added to that, he proved to be maddeningly inconsistent, brilliant in one game, a borderline disaster in another.
What Kobe managed to become, was what Jellybean couldn’t. By working tirelessly on his craft, he got to the top of the basketball echelons.
It took filling in the gaps to become a complete player and it also took obsessive training to become consistent.
Top performers know that you need both the right mix and consistency, or you’re just gonna be remembered like the guy who could have been who someone else turned out to be.