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In a Q&A with Chinese fans during his Nike RISE campaign, Kobe Bryant broke basketball down to its simplest form, admitting he's earned 16 trips to the All-Star Game on just two moves — a seemingly preposterous notion since his name along with the word "moves" turns up 200,000 videos on YouTube.
We'll let Bryant explain in an interview turned up by the fine folks over at Lakers Nation.
"How many people think you have to have a lot of moves? I have two. On the perimeter, I have two moves. On the post, two moves. That's it. On the perimeter, I'll go right, pull up, shoot; left, pull up, shoot. In the post, turn left shoulder, fadeaway; turn right, fadeaway."
Using this logic, everybody who's ever picked up a basketball has the same two moves as Kobe — go left or go right. Obviously, it's more about how he packages those two maneuvers, combining them in a series of chess moves and pump fakes that leave defenders guessing which one's coming next. This requires a more complex thought process, although Kobe does a nice job breaking that down, too.
"I was just talking to Nick Young. To be unstoppable, you have to first be predictable, because if you're unpredictable you don't know what the heck you're going to do, so how can you dictate to the defense what you're going to do?"
As many astute Redditors pointed out, this probably left Swaggy P staring blankly back at Kobe, but at it's core, basketball in Bryant's mind is a fairly straightforward game of cat and mouse.
"I know, if I have a chance, I'm going to go right and shoot. You know I want to go right and shoot, because now I've gone right two times, made it and you're expecting me to go right. Now, I control you. Now, I'll fake right, go left. (Then), I go left, and you're like, 'Oh, you're going to make another one.' Now, I pump fake, you jump — pfft, now I draw a foul."
If defending Kobe Bryant were as simple as not biting on pump fakes, he wouldn't have five NBA titles, but this is still valuable advice for any young baller willing to listen. Of course, 10,000 hours of practice, a little footwork advice from Hakeem Olajuwon and an athletic 6-foot-6 frame doesn't hurt, either. And neither does a confidence level so high you can break basketball down to two moves, wipe your hands clean and dare everyone to "stop it" while simultaneously offering a look that says, "You can't."
Somewhere, LeBron James wonders why Kobe didn't mention a third option — go straight.
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