NBA legend Kobe Bryant is once again opening up his basketball mind and letting us look in with a new episode of his Detail program. Bryant’s deep-dive analysis of NBA game strategy, player personnel strengths and weaknesses, rhythms, trends etc. is sort of like what Leonard Bernstein used to do for music with his energetic teaching. (See video below)
Both Bernstein and Bryant take genius-level understanding of their subjects, and do their best to translate their complex understanding into the simplest terms.
Bryant’s most recent Detail analysis takes on the rich and complex topic of Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, widely regarded as the best “two-way” player in the NBA. (Two-way means offense and defense.)
Bryant recalls seeing Leonard at the gym early in his career, before Leonard’s offensive capabilities were honed. Bryant today is astonished at Leonard’s emergence offensively. “His growth as a player is phenomenal… phenomenal,” Bryant says, noting that when he was first in the NBA, “Kawhi could not shoot a gun” let alone a basketball.
Kobe Bryant isn’t easily impressed, but the NBA’s 3rd leading scorer of all time gives praise effusively when he is. Kawhi Leonard clearly deserves it, according to Bryant. Phenomenal is a big word for Kobe to throw around, but to repeat it to make is point — phenomenal 2x — that’s high praise.