Kobe Bryant goes down as one of the greatest players to play basketball, but not everyone was a fan of him, including Horace Grant.
Kobe’s best trait was certainly his ability to put the ball on the ground, take it at his defender, and score the basketball. He was a lethal scorer, his 81 point outburst against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 (second highest scoring output in a single game) being the perfect evidence for it.
THROWBACK: In March 2007, Kobe Bryant had one of the most impressive scoring stretch in NBA history when he scored 50+ points in 4 straight games!👀🐍
March 16 vs Portland: 65 PTS (23-39 FG)
March 18 vs Minnesota: 50 PTS (17-35 FG)
March 22 vs Memphis: 60 PTS (20-37 FG)
March 23 pic.twitter.com/QC7PjS49zY
— ∃M (@ogy_emy) September 18, 2021
However, his scoring is also something that used to annoy other players as Kobe often came off as a ‘ball hog.’ For that very reason, Horace Grant, would controversially take Penny Hardaway over him.
Horace Grant Explains Why He Would Pick Penny Hardaway Over Kobe Bryant
Penny Hardaway was definitely a very talented player in the league, and he looked like he had legendary potential after his first few years in the league.
However, injuries ruined his career. His first three years in the league, he was extremely durable, but after that the wheels really started to fall off. The next five years he wouldn’t play more than 60 games in a single season.
Hardaway was extremely athletic, and for a point guard, he had incredible size and passing ability. He finished his career averaging a stellar 5 assists per game, but again, those numbers could have been higher had he stayed healthy as his first three season in the league, he averaged 6.6., 7.2, 7.1 assists per game respectivelly.
Those assist numbers are exactly what Horace Grant is looking at when he chose Penny over ‘The Black Mamba.’ You can watch the full video here, and Grant gives his reasoning at around the 1:10 mark of the video.
“They were both fine with me man. If I had to pick, I would say Penny. Penny, you can go up and say, ’Yo, Penny, I need a couple of shots, man.’ ‘Ok, alright, imma get you the ball.’ Kobe would say, ‘Hey, get it off the rebound’.”