Kobe Bryant is not a fan of AAU basketball. In fact, Kobe says one of the keys to his success was avoiding AAU while growing up in Italy.
“I was lucky to grow up in Italy at a time when basketball in America was getting f—– up with AAU shuffling players through on strength and athleticism,” Bryant said. “I missed all that, and instead I was taught extreme fundamentals: footwork, footwork, footwork, how to create space, how to handle the ball, how to protect the ball, how to shoot the ball.”
Kobe recently said that if the playoffs were starting, he could play. Bryant tore his Achilles in April, during a match up at Staples Center against the Golden State Warriors. But Kobe knows adjustments will have to be made to his game. He’s using boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. as inspiration.
“Maybe I won’t have as much explosion,” Bryant says. “Maybe I’ll be slower. Maybe I’ll lose quickness. But I have other options. It’s like Floyd Mayweather in the ring. There’s a reason he’s still at the top after all these years. He’s the most fundamentally sound boxer of all time. He can fight myriad styles at myriad tempos. He can throw fast punches or off-speed punches, and he can throw them from odd angles.”