The late great Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest pure scorers in NBA history. Throughout his 20-year-long career, Bryant scored over 33 thousand points, but to score that many buckets, you need to take a lot of shots. In his 19th season, in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant became the all-time leader in missed shots, surpassing an NBA legend John Havlicek. Bryant accumulated 14481 missed shots in his 20-year- long and illustrious NBA career, which is something many fans sometimes use to discredit him as a player.
In one of his older interviews, Bryant reflected on the fact he is the all-time leader in missed shots, and in his fashion, he wasn't concerned about it at all. He explained that since he is the starting shooting guard of his team, that means his primary role is to shoot the ball as effectively as he can.
Nah, I don't follow that stuff, man. Well, I'm a shooting guard that's played 19 years… Like I said, 'shooting guard', 19th year. I don't care about it, to be honest with you. It is what it is.
Kobe patterned his game from observing Michael Jordan the most, and even though Jordan was a bit more effective than Kobe, he remembers a game when Jordan took almost 50 shots in a single game. Basketball is a team sport, but Kobe felt he had to take the responsibility on himself if his team wants to win the game, and if that means taking a lot of shots, then so be it.
I remember when I was a kid, and I watched Michael Jordan shoot 49 times in an NBA Finals game. Can you imagine if I did that and lost? Puts things in perspective.
Throughout his career, Kobe faced numerous criticism for his shot selection at certain times. We saw him make numerous impossible shots on multiple defenders at once, and these shots were mesmerizing. However, there were times when fans and his former teammates complained that his lousy shot selection is a big problem, but Kobe never really cared about the criticism he was receiving. Failure was never an option for him because his only goal was to win games at any cost.
You've got to step up and play, man. You can't worry about criticism. You can't worry about failure. You really can't worry about that stuff. You've got to go out and figure that out and play and do the best you can, and whatever happens, happens. You can't be held captive by the fear of failure or the fear of what people may say."
Kobe was a volume shooter, who didn't care if he took 30,40 shots per game if that meant he would win the game. Kobe's main intention in every game was to wear down the defense as much as he can, and taking a lot of shots was a part of that strategy. It's essential to know Kobe's career field goal percentage is almost 45 percent, which is not bad when you consider everything. That was a part of his killer mentality that eventually brought him all the accolades, game-winning shots, and ultimately five NBA championships. Even when he had a bad game, Kobe didn't let that distract him at all, and as he perfectly described that there is no room for pressure or fear in his mind.