Kobe Bryant is crazy.
Ask anyone who ever played with or against him and they'll tell you as much.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal at the WSJDLive Conference in Laguna Beach, California, we got a glimpse inside the mind of the Mamba. When the topic was empathy, Bryant revealed an insane strategy he says helped him destroy opposing teams. He said:
When you have empathy towards your teammates, it helps you communicate better, it helps you be a better leader. When you have empathy towards your opponents, it helps you destroy them quicker. Seriously, think about it. Because you understand exactly who they are and what they've gone through. You understand what buttons to push, you understand if they're insecure, you understand if they fear embarrassment. You can really hit those buttons. There would be certain teams that had a player that they just signed to a max contract. And then the supporting player who was up for free agency who hadn't signed yet. So when we played them during the season, I'm saying, OK, here's what we're going to do: We're going to double-team the guy that hasn't gotten a max contract yet. We're not gonna let him get a shot off. And then we're going to single-cover the guy that has the max contract, and then watch the guy that doesn't have the max contract b**ch and complain about not getting the ball all night long, and watch them divide each other. Those are the little, subtle things we would do that simply comes from observation and understanding your opponent. Is that completely weird, or what?"
Yes, Kobe. That is completely weird. But it just goes to show how thorough Bryant was when looking for an edge on the court. He was the ultimate competitor, and if he could find any sort of weakness in a player or in a team, he was going to exploit it.
You can watch the full video below. The aforementioned topic begins at about the 12:10 mark.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock