Kobe Bryant has been quite quotable as of late, thanks to the excellent piece crafted by Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated.
One thing that came out in a follow-up story, however, may not sit well with Deron Williams.
The Nets were no match for the Heat in last season’s playoffs, losing in five games to the team that would ultimately represent the East in the NBA Finals. Williams had an up and down series, but his Game 2 performance is what caught Bryant’s attention.
Gotham Chopra, the director of “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, an upcoming documentary on Bryant, told a story about being with Kobe and watching the Nets and the Heat play. Recounts Chopra, “Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’
Now, Williams did have seven rebounds and six assists in that contest, and there are nights when a player simply knows that for one reason or another, his shot isn’t going to fall. And, as the team’s point guard, it’s up to Williams to get the ball to his teammates in order to create the team’s highest percentage scoring chances.
But as should have been made clear by now, Bryant views the competitive world of basketball differently than most. His job, more often than not, is to be his team’s leading scorer, so coming from that perspective, his comments make a lot of sense.
Williams is in a different situation entirely, so perhaps he won’t take what Bryant said all that personally.