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AC Milan boss Pioli reveals Kobe Bryant videos he used to prepare squad for Scudetto race

5:39 PM EDT 5/15/22
Stefano Pioli Milan Fiorentina Serie A
The coach turned towards the late basketball icon to find some words of encouragement

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli said he has turned to the words of basketball legend Kobe Bryant to prepare his players for the last stages of Scudetto race.

Bryant, who died in 2020 in a helicopter crash, was a well-known Milan fan and was famous for his mentality as a fierce competitor on the court.

While leading a series in the NBA Playoffs, Bryant famously said that "the job's not finished" - a message that Piloli is keen to pass on to his side as the Serie A title race goes down to the wire.

What did Pioli say about Bryant?

“I showed the lads an interview with Kobe Bryant, who said at 2-0 up in the NBA Playoffs, 'the job is not done'. We’re not done. We need to maintain that calm and concentration that can in the end prove decisive.

“When we took charge at Milan, the team had completely different tactical ideals and concepts, so we had to change everything. Now the good thing is that the players enjoy making the most of our strengths and preparing tactically, being able to adjust also to limit our opponents.”

The Scudetto race

Milan topped Atalanta 2-0 on Sunday, sealing their fifth consecutive Serie A victory.

With Inter's win over Cagliari, the Scudetto race will go down to the final day, with Milan needing just a draw against Sassuolo to beat their local rivals to the title.

“In all honesty, the last few weeks have been very normal, because I see the attitude of my players, they are smiling, joking, determined and focused when they arrive at the training ground every day," Pioli said. "I don’t need to worry, because I see that focus.

“We had 10,000 fans waiting for us as we drove through on the bus, that obviously fired everyone up. Now I expect another week like this.”

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