Kobe Bryant Succinctly Dismantles Concept of Participation Trophies

Retired NBA superstar talks about the valuable lessons to be learned from losing.

Kobe Bryant
Legend Kobe Bryant attends a WNBA game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks with his daughters on June 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.(Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant wasn’t a fan of losing when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, having won five championships during his 20-year career. And now, the retired NBA superstar has some choice words for those parents that believe in the value of a “participation trophy.”

A video clip of an interview Bryant did with CBS Sports‘ Al Michaels and Janet Evans back in January was recently tweeted out, in which he talks about his sports parenting philosophy. “My kids were playing basketball and came in fourth place in [a] tournament,” Bryant tells Michaels and Evans. Upon getting up to leave, though, Bryant was told that there would be a trophy ceremony even for the losing teams. So this was his message to his kids: “You get the fourth-place trophy, go home … put it up right where you can see it, and when you wake up in the morning, you look at the trophy and remind yourself of what you’ll never win again.”

In response to the post, Bryant tweeted, “If we don’t teach our children the fun inside of the process of winning AND losing then what are we teaching them?”

Just a reminder, this is the type of winner Bryant was back in the day.

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