Kobe Bryant is by all accounts a smart guy and an avid consumer of media. A lot of athletes claim not to read about themselves, but Kobe probably can’t resist–he’s savvy about image management and concerned with his legacy. And you need a working knowledge of what people are saying about you in order to use it or combat it. Kobe surprised some people recently by comparing himself to Mozart in an interview, but it didn’t come out of the blue for Kobe watchers. Back in 2013 writer James Clear put Kobe and Wolfgang together in a popular post called What Mozart and Kobe Bryant Can Teach Us About Deliberate Practice.
So Kobe had some precedent when he made his startling comparison. And you can be fairly certain–as a voracious media consumer–that he came across it and liked it. Here’s what Kobe thinks about his shots and Mozart’s notes from the GQ interview: “Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary.”