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”I fuc***g found it!” — when Kobe Bryant figured out how to stop Steph Curry mid-game

Lou Williams shared exactly what Kobe did to stop Steph, and we think we figured out which game he was talking about. Can the Boston Celtics use this in Game 5?
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry

It takes a great player to stop a great player. Steph Curry is a generational talent, and stopping him is almost impossible. You can only limit him and/or pray he's having an off night. However, Kobe Bryant figured out a way to shut him down — mid-game. Here’s how it went down, according to Lou Williams.

“I fuc***g found it!”

For all the offensive greatness of Kobe Bryant, one aspect of his game that probably deserved to be discussed more was his defense. He was labeled a ball-hog, and we’ve seen the memes where he would go on a fastbreak against five defenders, but critics quickly forget the Black Mamba could play defense, too. Kobe was named to All-NBA Defensive Teams 12 times in his career, nine of those, he was on First Team. A former teammate on the L.A., Lakers Lou Williams witnessed firsthand how Bryant figured out shutting down opponents mid-game.

“We was playing Golden State. And this was when Steph was starting to catch fire. He was starting to turn into ‘The Chef.’ You know what I’m saying? And he came in and he said, I fuc***g found it.’ He just kept saying, ‘I fuc***g found it.’ … He like, ‘He don’t like people standing on the side of him. He can shoot with you in front of him. He can shoot with you behind him. But on his side, he don’t like that. I’mma guard him the second half.

Lou Williams, Knuckleheads

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Byrant figuring out how to stop Steph was next-level genius. It was another evidence of him being a true student of the game. He could have asked the Lakers’ best wing defender to guard the Golden State Warriors star, but he took it upon himself and put his pride on the line in trying to stop the opposing team’s best player.

Was it effective?

Chef Curry has improved his game since that moment. He’s now a complete offensive player. According to stats, Kobe was right when he said the sharpshooter could shoot over anyone in front of him. When a defender was within two feet, Steph made 60% of his shots from the deep in the 2021-22 season. That number dipped 50.9% when the defender was within two to four feet. Curiously, Chef Curry was less effective when left wide open. When defenders are within four to six feet from him, he only makes 35.6% of his shots; when completely wide-open, he only sinks 47.1% of them.

Kobe caught Curry just by studying his game. Reaction is the reality in basketball. No matter how hard you try to prepare to defend a player, you need to adjust to your opponent’s adjustments in the game. 

The game LouWill talked about was probably the game on March 16, 2016. The Lakers won the game 95-112. Steph was limited to 18 points on 6-20 FG and was minus 18 in the game. Meanwhile, Bryant had 12 points but was plus 14 on the floor. As seen in the video below, Mr 24 was beside Chef Curry in many instances.

That was one of the last battles of Kobe against GSW and Curry. The Lakers star schooled him, and although they lost, for sure, Steph had some great lessons from the game. For the young players today, Bryant set high standards for studying your opponents. It doesn’t end on Xs and Os; in Kobe’s case, you have to be obsessive about it. 

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