It’s crazy to see the similarities of Michael Jordan in Kobe in everything that they did on the floor. The biggest similarity to me is for their ability to create space with their feet. From having conversations with both (which I will go in more depth about in the Premium Video for Members Only Below) that their philosophies with their footwork were identical. For all KB’s flash and tough shots that he would soot on a nightly basis, there was a simplicity to his offensive game that was simply beautiful to watch. The Jab is something that he used as a surgical weapon which left defenders in a word…… defenseless against him. Lets break it down.
KB’s goal when using the jab is to get a reaction out of the defender. If the defender goes back then it’s a jumpshot without thinking. If the defender goes back and to one side then it’s a dribble pull up to the opposite direction or a drive to the rim. From working him out extensively, he would mention countless times that he doesn’t pre determine what move that he is going to use. He drops a jab for basically a temperature reading on the defender and then Kobe reacted to those movements. He shook his head at players that would prepare and train with these complicated 5 part moves always saying “How do they know what the defender is going to do?” His philosophy on multiple part moves was not to work on them together, but master each individual one so that if something was taken away that it was an automatic read to go to his counter. The jab was special it was like Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber, a weapon that was a work of art. Later in his career he wanted to adapt from his MJ like Jab to more of a Tracy McGrady cross step which you can see in the video where it gets the defender going more side to side than back and forth. This opens up specific driving angles depending on the reaction to the defender. What he wanted was to be able to drive if the defender didn’t move on the jab, go to the right and jab twice to get to the left. HIs footwork ? Impeccably consistent (I’m 20-25 % sure that I used the proper use of impeccably correctly) when he pulled up going right his footwork was left/right, anytime he went to the left it always ended right/left. Always caught the ball freeing up his right foot to do the jabbing and driving. His offensive package is timeless and should be studied for the next 100 years. His shot selection?……… that’s another story
Kobe was a special generational talent that will be very hard to duplicate. The numbers speak for themselves, but others will get to his numbers that’s almost a given. What won’t be easily duplicated is how invested he was into the game. The countless late night/early morning sessions in the gym, the thousands of hours of game film, the competitiveness for wining at all costs, and the 13th mentality that he approached his preparation at. I haven’t met many that had that type of heart and competitiveness. He always said that the only two that he saw that in was Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook. Players are different these days, not necessarily a bad thing just a different mindset. In my Video Below I will talk about his sessions and what he put into his work on his footwork. It was a special thing to see……… He was simply the best…
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