Kobe Bryant reveals the secret behind his iconic step-back jumper, which has a Reggie Miller connection.
One of the greatest to ever wear the purple and gold uniform, Kobe was addressed as the next big thing after Michael Jordan. The Lakers legend had a distinguished 20-year career at the Staples Center.
During his career, Kobe won 5 NBA championships and 2 Finals MVPs. The 18x All-Star’s basketball IQ and work ethic was none that had ever been seen before.
Over the years, the Black Mamba developed strong ties with players such as Reggie Miller, Tracy McGrady, and Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe had a lot of one on one duels with the above superstars.
One such strong relation was Reggie Miller, who even accused Kobe of stealing one of his iconic basketball moves. During a segment of MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge in 1998, Kobe and Reggie decided to play a one on one friendly game.
The two engaged in sharing a couple of basketball moves and techniques. One such moment had the Pacers legend teach Kobe the step-back jumper. Never did Reggie know that the same move would come to haunt him during the 2000 NBA Finals.
While appearing as a guest on The Dan Patrick Show in December 2017, Miller spoke about the iconic step-back jumper of Kobe and how it had cost him the Game Three of the 2000 NBA Finals.
“Sure enough three years later in the NBA Finals that same move that I was showing him my stepback [jumper] he hit in Game 3 after Shaq fouled out,” Miller said.
He further added, “As he’s running down the court, he pats me on the butt and says, ‘You should have never shown me that step back,’ I was like, I am going to kill this young kid.”
Kobe Bryant admitted stealing one of Reggie Miller’s iconic basketball moves
When prodded about Reggie Miller’s accusation, Kobe had the following to say, “Of course, I did. We were at the basketball court at UCLA and we were standing there wasting time.” said the Black Mamba.
“So the two legends decided to play a one on one match. We played and I was able to look at that stepback up close. I said, Hmm I am stealing that. I like that. When I came into the league it was only two guys doing the stepback, Reggie Miller and Latrell Sprewell.”
“So you got to learn from those around you. You got to see what they do well so if you can use that in your game.” said the superstar.
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Kobe has never had any qualms about admitting that he stole many moves from some of the greats. The 2x scoring champion viewed himself as a student of the game.
“I studied everyone, so I was a complete basketball geek. Parts of my game I really modeled after Michael [Jordan], but there were other parts that I took from Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, George Gervin, Andrew Toney, and Sam Jones. The list goes on and on. Everybody does bits and pieces of the game.”