Kobe Bryant was a student of the game; he was always trying to get better and even during his last years in the league, the Black Mamba identified the toughest opponents he could have on the court, learned everything about them, and tried to find a weakness he could use against them.
He admitted a couple of years ago that Kevin Durant was the only one he couldn't figure out, but the rest of them were easier to guard for Kobe, including Stephen Curry. When the Golden State Warriors superstar was starting to heat up, Kobe made sure to study the future 3x NBA champion, and he found an answer to his shooting skills.
Lou Williams recently sat down with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the 'Knuckleheads' podcast, where he talked about the time Kobe figured out a way to stop Curry. Williams said that after that moment, he believed everything people told him about Bryant (39:35).
“We was playing Golden State,” Williams said. “And this was when Steph was starting to catch fire. He was starting to turn into ‘The Chef.’ You know what I’m saying? And he came in and he said, ‘I f—— found it.’ He just kept saying, ‘I f—– found it.’ … He like, ‘He don’t like people standing on the side of him. He can shoot with you in front of him. He can shoot with you behind him. But on his side, he don’t like that. I’mma guard him the second half.’ Shut him down again. So, after that, I was a believer. … After that, I’m like, ‘Everything that I’ve heard about Kobe Bryant is all true.’”
Bryant liked a good challenge and even when his level wasn't the same, he tried to find new ways to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He wasn't the best defender at the start of his career, but Kobe worked hard until he became one of the best players on the less glamorous sides of the ball. He had a vast knowledge of the game and used it against every opponent, and even when it looked like he couldn't figure things out, Kobe always did it.