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Kobe says his USA teammates can’t teach him anything new

Aug 9, 2012, 9:45 AM EDT

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It was vintage Kobe Bryant.

For the first half and a few minutes of the third quarter against Australia he was just not good — 0-for-5 shooting, three turnovers and Coach K had taken him off the Aussies best scorer in Patty Mills.

But if Kobe is 0-for-5 he is sure the sixth shot will fall and he will take it without fear. And in the third quarter Wednesday he knocked down a three, then on the next possession stole the ball and turned that into a corner three. After that it was on. He finished with 20 second half points as he rained down threes and looked invincible.

Kobe has that run in him at all times, his confidence never waivers. Never. For better or worse.

As examples of that, look at what the quotes, from Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today (via Ball Don’t Lie).

When a news reporter suggested Bryant was the best U.S offensive player in the low post other than center Tyson Chandler, Bryant stopped the question.

“No, no, no,” Bryant said. “Not other than Tyson Chandler. I’m the best post player on this team, period. Tyson Chandler is not in that conversation.”

Asked what it’s like to be the old guy on the team, Bryant said, “I’m where everybody wants to get to. I just happen to be still playing.”

“Can you learn anything from these young guys?” he was asked.

Bryant: “No.”

“You know everything?”

Bryant: “I don’t know if I know it all, but I know more than they do.”

What you think of those quotes is really what you think about Kobe. His fans love his brash confidence and point to his accomplishments and titles (count the ringzzzz!) and correctly note Kobe wouldn’t have that if he didn’t possess that level of confidence. The confidence to take and make big shots

His detractors will point to the missed big shots, the playoff losses, the times he shot the Lakers out of games late with isolations rather than getting the ball inside to mismatches on Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. They say he has something to learn still.

As usual, the truth is in the middle. Like the hero of a classic Greek myth, Kobe’s greatest strength can also be his undoing. His confidence is what makes him both great and infuriating. (Although Kobe is spot on about Chandler’s post game, the conversation is about LeBron, Kobe and ‘Melo.)

I’m not sure Kobe really does have much to learn from the guys on Team USA. But how he applies what he knows can be frustrating at times.

It’s just all part of Kobe.

  1. drishism - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    He has more rings than anyone else on the team… and a 2 time NBA finals MVP. Asking what HE can learn from Tyson Chandler or ‘Melo seems a little unfair.

    • skids003 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Biggest ego on the planet. He wouldn’t have any rings if it wasn’t for his teammates. Nothing but a gunner. Coach K is smart enough to take him out when he’s bricking, so they’ll be OK. The Lakers don’t have that luxury, or the balls to do it.

      • xonxrocket - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        “he wouldn’t have any rings if it wasn’t for his teammates”. Name anyone who has won a ring by himself. Last I looked, all NBA teams field 5 players on the floor.

      • amazonfan0007 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        No star would have any rings if it weren’t for their teammates. Jordan, Russell, Bird, Magic etc all needed help. Kobe is no different.

    • loungefly74 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Kobe has earned the right to say any damn thing he wants. period.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        yup!

  2. reesesteel23 - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Lebron can teach em how to pass the rock
    Dwade can teach em how to block shots as a 2
    Carmelo can teach em how to grab boards

    Other than that, he’s absolutely right

    • dls612 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Thank you!!!

    • cantonbound13 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Dwayne is not on the team

      • reesesteel23 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        Didnt know that…………………………

      • dls612 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Don’t matter smart ass! It would’ve been the same answer to the question.

  3. mp4philly - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    He could learn from Lebron. Pass the damn rock every once in a while.

  4. paulhargis53 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    He hasnt learned that no means no.

    I guess its no wonder so many Lakers fans are annoying over the top turds.

    They get it from this douchenozzle.

    He doesnt get it. He’s a horrible team mate.

    • cosanostra71 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Why do you think he’s such a horrible teammate? He’s been elected captain several times… Steve Nash said that Kobe was the one who convinced him to come to LA for less money than he could have gotten elsewhere.

      • LogicalConsideration - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        Lame argument. In the NBA, the superstar on any team gets elected captain if he wants it, because the superstar is the alpha wolf. That does NOT mean they are a good teammate. It just means they are the biggest dog on the block.

  5. monstoro15 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Blow him already, Kurt.

  6. liljere24 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    This is an article why?

  7. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    the mind set that your the best on the court is of the utmost importance once youv’e reach that level of confidence you do become hard to stop that’s the lesson

  8. acdc363 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Sounds like a great teammate!

  9. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Kobe is one of the very few athletes who speaks the truth. At this stage of his career he is exactly correct–what can any player in the NBA teach him that he doesn’t already know? Hate him or love him, his accomplishments speak for themselves. What I’ve always found to be ridiculous is some guy with a smart phone has the audacity to “attempt” to disparage one of the greatest players the league has ever seen. Yet if you listen to former or current NBA players, coaches, etc. they all acknowledge and appreciate his greatness. No matter how you slice it Kobe is one of the 5-10 greatest players the league has ever seen. And arguably number 2 on that list behind only MJ. Another ring or two and he puts himself in the GOAT discussion. So, hate on haters.

    • dls612 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Are you and Kobe married?

      • xonxrocket - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        I don’t think they are but i see you are attached to lebron’s arse.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Are you an idiot?

    • passerby23 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      I acknowledge the greatness of Kobe. You can’t deny he’s one of the most prolific scorers, solid defender, pretty good rebounder, and one of the most feared players in crunch time. I don’t think it’s the trash talk that rubs people the wrong way. After all, guys like Bird and Magic were some of the biggest trash talkers. What Kobe has going against him is a few things:

      1. He is/was not nearly as efficient as some of the all-time greats. He’s a career 45% shooter, nowhere near the other all-time greats. He’s much more of a volume shooter than anyone else.
      2. The ballhogging criticisms continue to plague him even late into his career, whereas those criticisms were early on in Jordan’s career.
      3. Kobe hasn’t been able to win without a dominant big man. I get that you need other great players around you to win championships, but the years in which Gasol has been average in the playoffs, the Lakers have lost. When he’s been great, they’ve won.
      4. Kobe is nowhere near the passer Magic, Jordan, or Bird was. Jordan, especially, as his career advanced, made other players better. I still can’t say the same about Kobe.
      4. I think #2 all-time is a bit high. The consensus is still Magic in terms of all-time Lakers, and many still argue Bill Russell is the greatest of all-time (I don’t). Most would put Bird and Chamberlain ahead of him. Some would put Jerry West ahead of him. Tim Duncan and Shaq could be in the conversation. I think Kobe will be in around that top 10 conversation, but not #2 and not without his criticisms.

      The thing about Kobe is you just don’t get those kinds of critiques for Jordan, Magic, Bird, or Russell. Kobe is in a league of his own when it comes to criticism.

  10. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Nope, I’m just like some othrr people who take my own biases out of the equation and give credit where credit is due. In the 80′s I hated Larry Bird. In the 90′s I hated MJ

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      But you gave them credit, I hope.

      • dls612 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        With a name like jimeejohnson I’ll be careful who I call a idiot!

  11. shockexchange - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Horry Jr definitely picked this up from Robert Horry – how to align yourself with teams with “exceptionally more talent” than the rest of the league in order to win a ‘chip.

  12. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    No, I just can acknowledge greatness when I see it. At one time I was as ignorant as some of you clowns are. I hated Bird in the 80′s. In the 90′s I said the same thing about MJ that some of you say about Kobe now–ball hog, arrogant, bad teammate, etc. And before this season I relentlessly criticized LeBron. However, now I can set aside my own biases and acknowledge greatness. MJ is “arguably” the GOAT, Bird is a top 10 player of all time and LeBron has the chance to one day be better than anyone who has ever played. See how easy that is? I can look past my biases to give credit where credit is due.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Haters and Losers: same thing.

  13. isujames - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    @ ^^ No hes not married to kobe he is a bastard child of kobe though.

    • loungefly74 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      no…he is a Laker fan…a proud one. one that is pretty happy with the team’s legacy…that in the most part, has been a part of title talks almost every year…and a lot of it recently has to do with kobe byrant being a supreme bad ass…that’s all.

  14. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    At this point in his career, Kobe’s legacy is secure. 5 rings, 1st ballot HOF, arguably the greatest player in the history of the greatest NBA franchise. So, to paraphrase LeBron: at the end of the day you losers can hate all you want but tomorrow you’re still gonna wake up with the same problems you have now. Hey, ph53 and shockboy, paraphrase means that I’m not quoting LeBron directly.

    • loungefly74 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      part of me is kinda happy to see those 2 knuckleheads get a knowledge beatdown…every time they post something. seriously, i dont think those 2 nimrods have posted any thing of great value? because telling everyone how they hate kobe on every freakin post is extremely pathetic. but hey man, i dont need to tell ya that!

    • infectorman - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      “arguably the greatest player in the history of the greatest NBA franchise”

      That would be Bill Russell.

      Lets move on from that silly line train of thought

      • infectorman - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        3 of the rings were due in large part to the 3-time Finals MVP named Shaquille Oneal.
        Why do you think it meant so much to him to surpass Shaq’s ring count?
        He owes about half of his finals legacy to Shaq.

        Jordan would never have to say that.
        MJ was THE man for 6 titles and 6 Finals MVPs . KoME can never even claim that and isn’t even in the conversation with MJ

        And, He is nowhere near the planet Bill Russell lives on.

  15. paulhargis53 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Laker sucker:

    I don’t hate Kobe or the Lakers. I detest fans like you. That I have told you that time and again, just doesn’t seem to sink in.
    Can’t seem to go throughone thread without bringing me up, can you?
    I’m in your head, that must suck for you.

    I find the audacity of you explaininga words meaning to me ludicrous.

    I’ve sent you running to a thesaurus countless times already.
    For your edification,Kobe is not “in the mix” for the greatest. He vary cracks top 10.
    To reiterate, none of us “hate” the Lakers or Kobe. We dislike you specifically.
    We enjoy antagonizing you, watching you get flustered etc.
    That you continue to play into it is highly amusing. You really are an unlikeable dummy though.

    • mrpostman985 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Dude u r crazy !! U must not watch or understand basketball. It’s funny how people forget all those that were said about mike being arrogant and a ball hog ! Kobe can give two $h!ts of Wat someone like u has to say and that’s Wat makes him great !!! Once lebron learned that he became a champion !!

    • Pete Rubens - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      You send people running to thesaurus’, but cant spell education right… That’s the definition of irony, bruh. You need your NBA League Pass suspended & basketball discussion rights revoked.

      I don’t even like Kobe, but he’s a top 3 player in NBA history & the best 1 on 1 player we’ve ever seen not named Michael Jeffery Jordan. Go write a blog or something.

  16. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    @loungefly 74, you forgot about isujames, the 3rd member of that trio of MENSA members. They never add anything of value to the discussion. Their only purpose for being on here is to disparage Kobe and the LAKERS. Jokers.

  17. eventhorizon04 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Mixed feelings about this.
    On the one hand – Kobe has accomplished a lot. Nobody can take that away from him.

    On the other hand, unless he knows **everything,** then it’s possible if not probable that on a team of All-Stars, Defensive Players of the Year nominees, NBA Champions, and winners of scoring titles, at least *one guy* has something they could teach him.

  18. eventhorizon04 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    With regards to the post game question, coming from a guy who normally criticizes Kobe for taking too many shots:

    Statistically, Kobe has the best post game in the NBA amongst guards, in terms of points per post-up. Dwyane Wade is right behind him as #2. I tried looking up the ESPN article but couldn’t find it.

    If he wants to learn more about scoring from the post, he could ask Carmelo.
    If he wants to learn more about passing from the post, he could ask LeBron.

    But otherwise, he actually does have a good post game for a guard.

  19. changeup39 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Durant can teach him something: humility

  20. slippyal2 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I think he can learn how to be humble from the other guys.

  21. dlb4180 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    If you take everything into consideration Kobe isn’t a top 10 all time player. You give him way to much credit for the 5 rings. He’s not even the best Laker ever. Magic, Karrem, Shaq, West, then Kobe. He is way overrated there are a dozen different players who could have put up just as good if not better numbers on the teams he was on and won championships and he isn’t a good defender and never has been. I respect his game and his competitive nature is all time but watch some old games before u start saying he’s closing in on Jordan. Remember it’s not just winning championships when you talk about all time greats, its how you win them. And I don’t hate Kobe I like him. I just refuse to let the media make me believe he’s some assassin when my eyes tell me he’s not. He’s a ball hog who doesn’t take advantage of the mismatches. He Plays his heart out and wants to be Jordan so bad but he just never could dominate consistently enough. Great player top 20 but not top 10.

  22. stofur - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I have hated the Lakers for 35 years, BUT I would be an ignorant fool to say that Kobe isn’t one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game. My beef with Kobe is that he doesn’t display confidence, he displays arrogance. That arrogance is what will keep him from ever being considered as the GOAT, at least in my personal opinion. His arrogance is why he thinks he can make every shot, contested or not. Unfortunately, to be considered the GOAT, you’ve got to have total confidence in your passing ability as well as your shooting ability. You’ve got to have confidence that your teammate can score if you make the right pass. You’ve got to have confidence that you can rebound if someone misses. Arrogance is standing around expecting to make every shot you throw up, then crying foul every time you miss.

  23. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    @ph53
    “Antagonizing” me? “Sending me running to a Thesaurus”? Dude, whatever. You’re a nut job!! If you’re in my head then it’s OBVIOUS to us all that Kobe is in your head. Like I’ve previously said, you troll the web looking for Kobe stories just so you can “get off” on posting stupidity disguised as wit. You claim to despise LAKER fans like me, but go back and read your 1st comment on this blog. You attacked the player not me or his fans. Anyone with a bit of basketball knowledge knows that Kobe is one of the elite of the elite. You may argue where he ranks but you can’t reasonably deny his greatness. Therefore, this “debate” is a waste of my time.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      You actually read these morons posts? Be careful: these losers can dumb you down if you read their hateful drivel. Ignore them and their kind (unhappy, stupid, first class pricks).

    • loungefly74 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      exactly. “pauly-shore-hargis” is coo coo for coco puffs. he makes no sense. “oh…i hate laker fans…blah…blah..blah…its all i say!” really? go back and re-read your garbage. i guess he is pissed that a good chunk of blogs here relate to laker stuff (hmmm…i wonder why? maybe because the lakers are awesome? uh yeah!). i’ll admit, i like seeing his posts because its like seeing a “trainwreck”. you cant help but gasp and gawk at the horror. and its always fun seeing someone put him in check…every time.

      and seriously…we are talking sports. ph53 just needs to realize we all have teams we root for…heck, i hate the celtics…but im not going bat-sh*t crazy over every celtic-fan post/comment…how about using some of that energy to discuss his love for his team…what a novel concept…sheesh.

      oh yeah…forgot about isujames…the trifecta…errr…tri-blunder…more like it. hehe! thanks!

  24. qbantouch - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Kobe is the best player in the NBA. Period.

  25. obijuan13 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Is it just me or didn’t Lebron have to start playing like Kobe for Miami to win? Passing is a good thing don’t get me wrong, but once Lebron took the game into his own hands the game was over. Even in the Olympics he had to take over a game like Kobe or Jordan to secure the win. If LBJ wanted the ball more like Jordan/Kobe when the game is close or on the line, he would probably have two rings instead of one.

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