Kobe Bryant has become one of the greatest basketball players to ever walk the earth, but growing up in Italy, he also developed a love for soccer.
Even though he is far removed from his soccer days, the things he was taught growing up impacted how he sees things on the basketball court.
After the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bryant went into detail about some basic differences between soccer and basketball according to Shahan Ahmed of Yahoo! Sports:
“Most of the time, American basketball is only taught in twos: 1-2, pick and roll, or give and go, or something like that,” Bryant explained. “In playing soccer growing up, you really see the game in a combination of threes, sometimes fours—and how you play within triangles.”
Bryant would go on to add that those things give him a different perspective on the court:
“You see things in multiple combinations,” Bryant continued. “And growing up playing (soccer), my eye and my brain became accustomed to seeing those combinations in threes and fours versus one and two.”
Bryant has always been a huge soccer fan, touting FC Barcelona as his favorite team and Lionel Messi as his favorite player. Most knew that Kobe played soccer growing up in Italy, but hearing the impact it has made on his game is extremely interesting.
Kobe may be known for his scoring, but he also has over 6,000 assists in his career making him the only member of the ‘30,000-6,000 club.’ For that, we can thank Kobe’s love of soccer for giving him a different perspective than the rest of the league.