Kobe Bryant was known for his ability to make tough shots in tight situations. Bryant had an amazing midrange game and could create his shot against just about any defender in the league. However, he could also take a lot of bad shots: although he could make them, it wasn’t always the best shot to take with other teammates open.
Recently, on a podcast episode of “The Dream Team Tapes: Kobe, LeBron & The Redeem Team”, famous coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about a meeting that he had with Kobe Bryant regarding his shot selection. It seems as though LeBron James was also unhappy with the shots Kobe Bryant was taken. Jason Kidd also offered some more words about Bryant’s mentality towards shots.
Coach K, on scheduling a meeting to reign in Kobe’s shot selection and play style before the Beijing games (34:03 – 34:45)
“We’re gonna win and in the first half, Kobe started taking Kobe Laker shot, which they had not been doing all game…and LeBron he looks at me and I know we got a real problem…I told him I will take care of this trust me…So we were up all night as a staff trying to figure out how to handle this and I said give me his shots on a computer and i’ll have an individual meeting with Kobe. So I’m really apprehensive
let’s put it this way about having this meeting but I gotta do it, I said I’d take care of it.”
Coach K, on Kobe’s reaction to the meeting about his meeting about shot selection (35:20 – 36:16)
“So I brought him in and I said, look I wanna talk to you about shot selection. Let’ stake a look at these shots and I said ‘they’re bulls*it shots. You can’t do that when you have Carmelo and Lebron. It erodes what we’re doing.’ So I don’t know what I’m gonna get but what I get is like a gift from god. He just said, ‘You’re right I won’t do that. What else?'”
Jason Kidd on experiencing Kobe’s preference to taking extremely difficult shots during games and practices (30:53 – 32:25)
“Kobe would take some crazy shots. There was a point in practice where I asked if he could catch-and-shoot. And he looked at me like I was speaking a different language…Do you always have to dribble the ball to shoot. I think he took offense to it at first, but I was really actually trying to help him make the game easier.”
Kobe Bryant was a tough shot maker, but when playing with some other stars during the Olympics, he didn’t need to take the tough superstar shots that he did on the Lakers as other superstars could help take some of the offensive load. Kobe Bryant did agree with Coach K in the end, so the meeting did end up working out. Kobe Bryant was good at tough shots: but he understood what needed to be done to help the team succeed.