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Stephon Marbury breaks down what made Kobe Bryant unique: 'Why would he pass when he can score all the time'

marbury & kobe

The 1996 draft class is perhaps the most talented and loaded with numerous HOF and All-Star players. Two members of that draft class were the late great Kobe Bryant and Stephon Marbury, who was a great point guard in his own right and of the New York's finest hoopers in the NBA. Both came to the NBA as teenagers, and even though they were fierce competitors on the court, there was always tremendous respect between them.

Marbury talked about Kobe and what made him unique in the NBA in one of his earlier interviews. At a certain period of his career, even though he was the best player in the league, fans described Kobe as an unwilling passer who was not ready to put his ego aside for the benefit of others on the team. Even though that somewhat may be true, Marbury always believed that he had to do it because it was engraved in his DNA.

Why would he pass when he can score all the time. You want people around you that are going to let him do him, just like big Mike.

Stephon Marbury

We've heard numerous stories from other NBA players and coaches about Kobe's work ethic that was unparallel to anybody else. Sometimes, it felt like those stories were unreal and somewhat far-fetched. Marbury can also testify to that, and he understands that the only thing people see is the finished product, but rarely do they understand how many hours are put in to master a particular move or a shot. He also made a good point, saying that many people think some of the moves players do are easy, but in reality, they are not and take a lot of work to master.

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He goes at basketball with preparation and dedication to the game, and it's something you need. Kids think he is Kobe Bryant and that he is good as he is because of him just knowing how to play. They don't know that before the product touches the store, there are a lot of things that have to go into that. People, when they look at him, are like, 'I can do that' and naah, you can't do that. He is the only person on the earth that can do what he is doing on the basketball court. He defends and plays offense, and who does that?

Stephon Marbury

Marbury knew what made Kobe so dangerous because he knew what type of approach Kobe had to the game. Being equally great on offense and defense is something only a few guys in the league are capable of doing, and Kobe was one of them.

Seeing him is like damn, he can score, and he is about to b**t my ass, and that is a hard pill to swallow.

Stephon Marbury

As teenagers, they both came to the NBA in the same year, with enormous talent and potential; however, their careers went in totally different directions. Even though Marbury was considered one of the top point guards in the NBA for a few years, he never made a serious success in the postseason. His individual brilliance was often overshadowed by a lack of success with the team. Kobe had all that success on top of his individual accomplishments, which was the main differentiator.

Just like Marbury said, Kobe is the only guy on the court that could do so many things equally well, and all of that preparation starts behind closed doors when nobody is looking. That is a simple concept not a lot of people can truly understand.

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