Kobe Bryant perfected his game by watching film

From Kobe Bryant: Imitating greatness (ESPN)

As the Los Angeles Lakers prepared to defend their NBA championship against the Boston Celtics, their gifted leader confessed he has plagiarized almost everything in his patented basketball portfolio.

"I seriously have stolen all my moves from the greatest players," he admitted.

Watch a highlight reel of Kobe and you will witness Hall of Fame hints of influence sprinkled throughout: the way he freezes defenders and creates space in the mold of Oscar Robertson, or the explosive pull-up jumper he copied from Jerry West, or the post-up shake-and-go he took from Hakeem Olajuwon.

Bryant incorporated the skills of these legends into his game by breaking down their finest moments on film.

It's an obsession that began when Kobe was 10 years old and living with his family in Italy, where his father, Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant, played pro basketball after an eight-year NBA career. Kobe's grandfather routinely sent over tapes of NBA broadcasts, which had just begun airing on TNT, and the young boy devoured them.


Bryant sat down recently with ESPN to break down film of West, Robertson, Olajuwon, Elgin Baylor, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, and revealed which part of their games he pilfered.


Bryant's belief in film study has extended beyond his own locker. After he views halftime clips prepared for him by the Lakers' video staff, he occasionally waves coach Phil Jackson over to discuss a rotation he's identified. He often corrals teammates, fires up the laptop, and shows them precisely how they can carve out easier shots for themselves.

"He mentions stuff to them before it happens," said video coordinator Patrick O'Keefe. "They say, 'How did you know that?' It's because he's studied it. He's better-prepared than anyone."


blog comments powered by Disqus