NYT interviews Bryant

Kobe Bryant did a sit-down interview last week with a reporter from The New York Times, who was out here for a few days picking up stuff to advance tonight’s game between the Lakers and the New York Knicks. Bryant had a couple of interesting responses. Here are two:

Question: Do you feel like you still have room to grow as a player?
Bryant: “I do. I do. I think there’s so much more to understand. A lot of it just has to do with winning. It has nothing to do with me as an individual. Just more so, how can I lead these guys? That’s kind of been the evolution as a basketball player. When you first come into the league, you’re trying to prove yourself as an individual, do things to assert yourself and establish yourself. But then once you’ve done that, there’s another level to the game that’s more complex than figuring out how to put up big numbers as an individual. That’s easy to do.”

Question: Do you think your game has evolved since even two, three years ago?
Bryant: “Oh, without a doubt. A lot of that has to do with the team that I have because they allow me to explore those other areas of my game because they’re better basketball players, so that enables me to sit back and say, ‘OK, I don’t have to score 40 points a game to keep us competitive.’ I can start thinking the game more and thinking how can I use the pieces that I have here as opposed to thinking, ‘Damn, I’ve got to put my head down and go out there and try to beat two or three guys just to keep us in the game.’ So, I think they help me get to another level of understanding the game.”

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