Keith Allison (CC) / Indiana State Athletics (DR)
Unimpressed by any all-time legend, Kobe Bryant had a definite opinion on Celtics legend Larry Bird. He had thus shared it with the general public in 2018, and had surprised his interlocutors by the raw aspect of his remarks!
Whether on or off the court, he was never afraid to chat with the greatest players in history. And this, even to talk to them in a cheeky way. Kobe Bryant often took the initiative to talk to legendary NBA players in his career, especially during his first years in the league. He learned many lessons from these conversations.
His most famous exchanges of this kind are obviously those that allowed him to receive advice from Michael Jordan. His Majesty also remembers them vividly, and regularly returns to them with emotion, even sometimes with a hint of regret. Rest assured, he was not the only one that the Young Mamba bothered in this way, as he himself had revealed a few years ago.
Larry Bird? Too slow for Kobe Bryant’s taste
In a speech given at the University of South Carolina in 2018, Kobe made his curiosity one of the assets that had allowed him to sign his illustrious career:
I asked a lot of questions. When I played with Byron Scott or with Eddie Jones, I always asked them questions before and after practice. Magic (Johnson), James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), all Lakers icons.
By being so interested in the game of his teammates and predecessors, Bean was able to draw from each of them, and forge an arsenal as complete as formidable. Not only in attack, but also in defense. He liked to question all this beautiful little world about their biggest duels, and had for example a very precise and wild questioning about… Larry Bird.
I would always sit with them and ask them questions about some games that I had watched and studied in my youth. “What really happened at that time? », « What did you feel at that moment? Why ? », « Bird difficult to defend? Why ? Because he looked fucking slow to me. “I must be missing something, so tell me what it is.” »
Of course, Bird was not the fastest player of his era, nor the most athletic or aerial. And yet, he towered over his opponents as few have done before and after him. The prestigious teachers of Kobe therefore had to explain to him that it was thanks to his intelligence and his innate talent that Larry Legend outclassed the competition. Not sure, however, that these explanations were enough for Vino!
Cartesian as possible, Kobe Bryant did not understand how Larry Bird could have dominated as he did during his era. Some of his opponents are still looking, and that’s probably what made him so untenable!