Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant spent 20 years wowing NBA fans with his seemingly limitless bag of tricks. The five-time champion made a career out of doing the impossible, pushing his body to its limits and beyond in order to squeeze every ounce of basketball ability out.
Bryant’s obsession with basketball led to the mental side of his game developing just as much if not more than the physical side. He thinks the game on another level, and now that he is retired, Bryant has started breaking down the game for ESPN in a series called “Detail.”
In a clip that appeared on ESPN’s NBA Twitter account, Bryant’s latest focus was on Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum, who has exploded into the NBA after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2017 Draft:
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 17, 2018
As Bryant notes, Tatum’s positioning isn’t quite right coming off of screens, which limits his catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Of course, Tatum is doing just fine even without this tweak as his Celtics currently find themselves up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Tatum has been a big part of the team’s success, playing at a level well beyond what would be expected given his age and experience.
It’s not a surprise that Bryant recommends that Tatum study Richard Hamilton, who made a career out of hitting the kind of mid-range jumpers that Tatum’s game is currently lacking. After all, Hamilton’s Detroit Pistons bested Bryant’s Lakers in an upset in the 2004 NBA Finals.
The modern NBA is moving away from the mid-range game, but Bryant’s suggestion for Tatum can still have merit. After all, just the threat of the jumper could open up the game even further for Tatum.
While Lakers fans may not be thrilled that Bryant is dispensing advice to a Celtic, “Detail” is well worth watching to get a glimpse into how he thinks the game.
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