Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players of all time.
Beyond all the championships and individual honors he was able to amass throughout his storied career, he also just displayed a fundamental understanding of the sport that few others could ever match.
Because he was such a tremendous scorer from the beginning of his career all the way to his final game, many assumed that was his favorite thing to do on the court.
In fact, he had two things that he enjoyed way more.
“Scoring is something that I do when necessary,” he said during an interview.
“It’s not something that I feel like I have to do or enjoy doing to the point where it is a detriment to the team. I score when I have to score. I’d much rather get other guys involved and have them score 25-30 points, have career highs, and things like that. Sometimes shots aren’t falling, you got to take games over and that’s what I do.
“But on the USA team, it was a breath of fresh air because I could really focus on what I really really love to do, which is to play defense. I mean I just love it.”
Bryant didn’t stop there.
“When you come into a game and you know you are going up against a person who’s averaging 27 points, averaging 25 points and you know that for your team to be successful you have to slow him down, your team is counting on you to stop him,” he continued.
“I really enjoy that. It was really easy to sacrifice the scoring part of it, I don’t worry about that stuff too much.”
Bryant’s takes on hoops were always incredible. Whether he was revealing the best defender he had ever seen, identifying his favorite teammate ever or breaking down who would win a 1-on-1 between him and LeBron James – he always kept it real.
Bronny is already playing at an MVP level on and off the court. https://t.co/zaA6Y7TDGT
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 22, 2022
Because of that, if he said he preferred other things to scoring, you know he was telling the truth.
The world lost Bryant too soon, but thankfully, his wisdom and teachings will live on forever.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.