Kobe Bryant has made a really fun habit of cross analyzing things you wouldn’t normally identify with basketball (nature, mostly) with his approach to the game. It’s added to the myth of Kobe in ways that merely analyzing the game would not.
The latest example of this came via Kyle Kuzma, during an appearance on Aaron Larsuel and Mike Trudell’s “The Official Lakers Podcast,” and, boy, it’s a doozie:
“I asked him one time when we were at dinner... ‘at what point in time did you find your game? Where you knew, okay, this is who I am, this is what I’m going to do.’ And it was the weirdest answer... It’s crazy because I’ve never thought about this, usually ‘it’s like okay, I found my game because I played in the league for multiple years and kind of know these are my spots and these are my shots.’
But his answer was that he was playing in the Western Conference Semis vs. San Antonio or something, and he found his game by watching a movie. By watching like a Bruce Lee (movie)... one of the senseis was like ‘less is more.’ And from that moment on, he said he found his game... Less is more is the one-dribble pull-ups, the one-dribble get to a spot pump fake, instead of you see so many people just dribble and dribble and dribble the air out of the ball. It’s just less is more and just be sharp, and it’s pretty crazy.
You just think about his mindset and how he approaches the game, it’s not just how he approached the game. He approached life, and took life and added ways to make his game better. Just watching a movie and was like ‘damn, I found my game.’ I mean who thinks like that? It’s crazy.”
So we’re clear: Kobe Bryant, he who attempted more field goals than all but two players in the history of basketball, is claiming that Bruce Lee told him through a movie that less is more. Got it.
(Yes, I know this is more regarding the approach to getting to his spot than it is the shot itself, but still. It’s a funny concept)
I also would love to know whether Bryant has ever had to control himself while saying stuff like this. Personally, there’s just no way I’d keep a straight face while trying to explain how Bruce Lee actually helped my podcasting. But hey, do you, Kobe.
In all seriousness, “less is more” is very applicable to Kuzma’s game, especially given the roster construction around him. He doesn’t have time (nor the handles, frankly) to dance with the basketball in order to get himself free for a shot whenever Anthony Davis and/or LeBron James were also on the court.