Richard Jefferson Recalls the Time Kobe Used Ball Hog Persona for Advantage

Bean will do whatever it takes, even if it plays into his detractors.

Kobe Bryant making his case

Image via Getty/Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE

Kobe Bryant making his case

In the fall this year, Kobe Bryant detailed to Jimmy Kimmel how he used to read the referee's handbook to figure out their blind spots so that he could use more underhanded means for an advantage where they weren't looking. It hits all the right notes to burnish Kobe's legacy as a pathological competitor. But Bryant wasn't above using other parts of his persona in an effort to gain an advantage on the basketball court, as Richard Jefferson explained during the Nets-Lakers broadcast on Monday night.

It seems his status as a chucker (i.e. a ball hog, in basketball parlance) earned him a pair of free throws when the refs were undecided if it was a shooting foul.

Richard Jefferson with a tremendous Kobe story just now on @NetsonYes: Kobe fouled while releasing ball. Refs unsure whether to call shooting or non-shooting foul. According to RJ, Kobe tells refs, “I haven’t passed the ball all night.” Refs agree, give him the free throws.

— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) December 19, 2018

While calling the Nets game, Richard Jefferson told a story about hearing Kobe convince the refs to give him a shooting foul.

He said all Kobe had to do was tell them, "I haven't passed the ball all night." 😂

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 19, 2018

Diabolical! We're excited to hear the anecdote about how Kobe traded the soul of an innocent ball boy in a Faustian exchange for his last title. ("But he won the chip," the Kobe stans say to the ballboy's heartbroken family.) 

Before those stans send directions to Temecula, let's remember that Bryant set the record for most field goal attempts in a game during the last game of his career, when he shot the ball 50 times to score 60 points for a 17-win Lakers team. It remains an accurate summation of the good and bad tendencies he exhibited over the course of a hall-of-fame career. 

It's also worth noting that Bryant has six of the top-10 games with the most field goal attempts in NBA history. For comparison's sake, similar chuckers Michael Jordan (4 in the top 10, three of which were No. 10) and Russell Westbrook (2), aren't even in his stratosphere when it comes to getting up shots. Bryant's missed more shots than anyone else in NBA history—over a 1000 misses more than No. 2, John Havlicek.

All of this is to say, someone check on Weezy.

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