Their position, their laser-focus on scoring, and Kobe’s mentorship led to Devin Booker being labeled as Kobe Bryant’s heir apparent. The two are incredibly gifted scorers, but one thing separates them from the rest.
The lost art of scoring with the left hand
After Kobe suffered a shoulder injury, he learned to play using his left hand. The ability to adjust to any situation is a trait that any player should have, but we all know Mamba took it to a whole new level. In a Lakers game against the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015, Kobe returned to the game with the result already decided and played through the shoulder injury. He utilized his left hand in scoring, and although his team lost, it was an admirable act for the former league MVP.
Others claim it was an act of stubbornness, putting himself in greater injury danger, playing through the pain with the result already decided. But for Kobe, it was his willingness to push himself to the limit. One can bet he spent hundreds of hours in the gym shooting with his left hand. He knew it would be an asset if the need arises.
The ability to score on either hand made Kobe different from other scorers in the league. And because he was not born gifted with advantages over his opponents, he had to work twice as hard to become unguardable. Now, that willingness to push oneself to the limits has been passed on to Devin Booker.
DBook trained his left hand
When Booker got injured in 2018, he had to undergo right-hand surgery. He could not do much during the healing process, so he decided to practice shooting using his left hand.
“I always messed around a little bit growing up, just shooting with my left hand, but now I’m actually getting real work in with my left hand. I think it’s going to be a big help.”Devin Booker, Basketball Forever
At that time, Booker just signed a massive contract to stay with the Phoenix Suns. Rather than sulk, he used the idle time to improve. The young star knew he was given the keys to the franchise, and now, he is reaping the benefits of being able to score using his left or right hand.
The killer mentality of destroying the opponent’s defense no matter how hard they prepared was present on Kobe and now can be seen with Devin. Being an ambidextrous scorer puts them on a whole level not many scorers in the league can get to.
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