It has been several months since Kobe Bryant played his last game in the NBA. However, it hasn’t stopped him from looking back on his illustrious career. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bryant discussed a strange defensive plan that he said he used to utilize during his playing days.
“There would be certain teams that had a player that they just signed to a max contract. And then a supporting player who was up for free agency who they hadn’t signed yet. So when we played them during the season, I’m saying, OK, here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to double-team the guy that hasn’t gotten a max contract yet. We’re not gonna let him get a shot off. And then we’re going to single-cover the guy that has the max contract, and then watch the guy that doesn’t have the max contract bitch and complain about not getting the ball all night long, and watch them divide each other. Those are the little, subtle things we would do that simply comes from observation and understanding your opponent.”
This is something that is way out of left field when it comes to defensive game planning. It is right down Bryant’s alley using the psychological edge to get into his opponents head, but at the same, it sounds quite foolish. There is a good chance that this backfired a few times against the Lakers.
What is more interesting is that it brings up the question about which opponents he did this against or what time of his career he used this strategy. Remember, Bryant during the prime of his career was a 12-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection with nine first team nods. This is more than likely something he is trying to embellish now that he’s retired.