Every basketball player either a professional or an amateur probably spent a lot of his time playing basketball on a playground rather than in a gym playing in an organized game. Playground basketball is in it’s essence a different sport to a certain degree because of the rules and the creativity that often takes place in those situations. Kobe Bryant who is one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game, a true basketball junkie who believes playground basketball can benefit a player in many different ways.
In one of his older interviews, Kobe Brant said playing in the playground can stimulate more creativity and freedom which is beneficial for developing skills players might not have already. There were several streetball legends who made it to the NBA like Rafeer Alston, who’s streetball moves brought the crowd to their feet because it’s something fans don’t have the privilege to see on a nightly basis. Bryant said toughness and strength are values you learn while playing on the playground because there are always guys there who are bigger and stronger so you have to use your creativity in order to score the basket.
“I think playing in the playground brings a lot more creativity and a lot more freedom. You can throw the ball around the back, behind the guys head and things like that. You can pick up all the fancy moves because that is where you learn the fancy crossover, 360 and all the little creative things. It’s kinda like an icing on the cake. Crossover is a classic because I think all the young players coming into the league, a crossover is something you pick up on the playground is now turning into a move in the middle of the game. All the other tricks need to stay at the playground. Playing on the playground teaches you toughness because every time you step out there is always someone who is tougher and stronger and they will throw you around.”
Bryant also said that after his career took over, playing with his friends was almost impossible and those are things he missed the most. When you play for the fun of the game with no cameras and attention from the media that is when you enjoy the game the most and creativity takes over.
“Playing with my friends is the biggest thing that I miss. Playing with guys just for the fun of the game, no cameras no anything. Just out there playing.”