Kobe Bryant has always been extremely outspoken. Over the summer in a feature on the black mamba in Sports Illustrated, Bryant referenced Deron Williams’ 0-9 game against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. It was the worst shooting performance of Williams’ career.
Bryant said Williams, who dealt with ankle injuries all of last season, “psyched himself out“. “‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9,” Bryant said. “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.’”
Williams was asked about this during the Nets media day and he had this response:
“I’m a point guard,” Williams said about adopting Bryant’s mentality. “If I’m 0-for-f**king-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots. Not going to happen. I’m a point guard. I’m going to find somebody else. Kobe Bryant, that’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s got that mentality. That works for him, I got my mentality, it works for me.”
Williams wasn’t directly attacking Bryant for the comments, but wanted it clear that he’s a point guard, and his role isn’t to take shots from his teammates. He added that he doesn’t use last year as motivation.