OK, Kobe, we know you spent a large part of your childhood over in Europe, but why you gotta dog American basketball like that, playa? Speaking to ESPN Los Angeles after the Lakers dropped a close game to the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant had one of those "tell me how you really feel" moments as he went after AAU basketball and the culture surrounding it.
"It's stupid, Bryant said. "It doesn't teach our kids how to play the game at all so you wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don't know how to post. They don't know the fundamentals of the game. It's stupid."
Kobe credited his time spent in Italy as a child with teaching him how to dribble with his left hand and improving his footwork. The young Black Mamba was also exposed to Europeans basketball camps run by legendary coaches like Tex Winter and Red Auerbach. Bryant even went out of his way to praise how Europeans play the game.
"I just think European players are just way more skillful," Bryant said. "They are just taught the game the right way at an early age. ... They're more skillful. It's something we really have to fix. We really have to address that. We have to teach our kids to play the right way."
One might scoff at Bryant's "play the game the right way" talk as he bombs (and mostly misses) jumpers from literally anywhere on the court and screams at Jeremy Lin like he's a puppy in training, but I digress. Bryant will go down as one of the greatest NBA players of all time, so he has the right to speak on his vision of the game. The AAU circuits probably want him to quiet down though.
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to email@example.com.