Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times
Although Kobe plays basketball, he expresses a sentiment that you could equate to hockey and is one of main goals of the ADM – skill development.
Kobe Bryant believes European basketball players are more skillful than American basketball players, and says it’s a growing trend.
“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. 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. 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.”
“When you have limitations and you understand your limitations and you stay within yourself, you can be great,” Kobe Bryant said. “You know what you can do and what you can’t do. In America, it’s a big problem for us because we’re not teaching players how to play all-around basketball. That’s why you have Pau and Marc Gasol, and that’s the reason why 90 percent of the Spurs’ roster is European players, because they have more skill.”
Bryant smiled when asked what type of player he would have become if his family had never moved to Italy and he hadn’t learned how to play the game in Europe. “I probably wouldn’t be able to dribble with my left and shoot with my left and have good footwork,” Bryant said. “I was kind of fortunate because when I was growing up in Italy, the Red Auerbachs and the Tex Winters and all those great coaches were doing clinics and camps in Europe. They were teaching all the club coaches, and the club coaches were following their advice and their fundamentals like the bible, and they were teaching all of us kids that type of stuff. Me, Manu Ginobli and all these guys that grew up around that same time, we’re a product of that. It’s a big difference.”
Bryant had a simple solution to the problem, “Teach players the game at an early age and stop treating them like cash cows for everyone to profit off of,” he said. “That’s how you do that. You have to teach them the game. Give them instruction.”
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