Kobe Bryant Once Showed What Made Him a Better Defender Than The Rest With One Simple Trick That He Learned From Michael Jordan
|Published January 26, 2023
When you talk about defenders, who comes to mind? Kawhi Leonard, Dwight Howard, and other burlesque centers? What about the smaller positions? Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant? Where do they rank on the list of high-quality defenses?
They should rank among the best defenders in the history of the sport. One is a nine-time All-Defensive entrant, and his protege is a 12-time All-Defensive. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were two of the best shooting guards of all time, not just for their offensive abilities, but also for their ability to shut down their opponents.
How do you think they did it? Did they have a seventh sense? Or could they predict the future? In the comic-book sense, they did not have superpowers, but they were superhuman.
Both had one particular trait that made them the best defenders of their generation.
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Kobe Bryant studied his opponent from head to toe
Great defenders look into their opponents’ eyes to see where they want to go. Legendary defenders look at their feet. Kobe and MJ studied their opponents right down to their feet. Kobe took it further by studying people when they pump-fake a shot!
Bryant’s ability to read the player was showcased in an interview where he spoke about how he defended people.
He took to the stage and showed people a particular position that players generally took when they were not serious about shooting the ball. That split second in the game was the line that separated him from the rest of the crowd.
In typical Kobe fashion, he had to end the demonstration with a joke, saying, “If the foot isn’t in that position, you know it’s serious.”
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Bryant was a student of the game – from before entering the league to the last game against Utah
Even before entering the league, he was looking to absorb knowledge from Kevin Garnett and Michael Jordan. Two of the most competitive players he had to go up against He kept learning and maturing as the years went by.
He evolved from a brash teenager who wanted to beef with everybody to a silent assassin that scared everyone without saying a word.
January 26 marks the 3rd anniversary of his passing, but the knowledge he left behind for the players and the upcoming generation is immense. Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered, not just as MJ’s protege, but as a five-time champion and the champion of a million of hearts.
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