Kobe Bryant was perhaps one of the best players this century has ever seen. With his insane skills on the basketball court, it is easy to see why he was one of the most respected players of his generation. Able to score the basket at will and lock down defenders at will, Kobe was a problem on the court.
Given how much the game was centered around him, Kobe often found himself at odds with the referees. Be it him being fouled by other defenders or him being whistled for fouling other players, it was no surprise that Bryant did not have the best relations with the referees.
As much as Kobe was frustrated with the referees and their calls, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar did not appear flustered with the referees. But in an interview, the Hall of Famer revealed why he was not flustered. The 5-time NBA champion revealed that he secretly used to curse in Italian. (3:41 onwards):
"Luckily, I speak several languages, so the referees don't know what the hell I'm telling them. For example, I say 'Vaffanculo' (i.e. f**k you) and they don't understand me. And I tell him with a smile: 'Vaffanculo'".
This was certainly an incredible strategy by Bryant. While many players would lose their calm and get fined more often than not, Kobe, despite being frustrated, had his way of dealing with the officials.
Not only that, Kobe knew what he had to do to get an edge over his opposition. Be it outscoring players or defeating teams despite having weaker teams, Bryant certainly knew how to win. His incredible number of achievements certainly is a testament to the same. He achieved all of his success gracefully and never lost anyone's respect in the league. The NBA certainly misses the late great Kobe Bean Bryant.