Kobe Bryant is without a doubt one of the top 15 NBA players of all time, and I personally believe he's in the top 10, but apparently that ruffles some feathers these days. The over-the-top social media slander has clouded people's judgement of his career, and the Kobe "stans" do the discussion no favors when they make outlandish claims about their guy.
That being said, there is no denying that he was the greatest ball hog in league history. Some years he had to be, and earned the right to be, other years, like his last few, he was just chucking for the sake of chucking. The ball hoggery was so natural to Kobe that, according to Richard Jefferson, Bryant once convinced officials to give him a shooting foul because of said hoggery. Jefferson, who is now an analyst on the YES Network, was reminded of the Kobe story when there was a questionable shooting foul during the Brooklyn Nets-L.A. Lakers game on Tuesday night.
"I'll tell you a Kobe story," Jefferson said to broadcast partners Ian Eagle and Sarah Kustok. "They (the refs) were trying to figure out whether or not he was shooting or not and Kobe straight told the official 'I haven't passed the ball all night.' And they just ended up giving him the free throw, they accepted that." Here's the full clip:
This may very well be the quintessential Kobe story. Only he could get away with making people believe he was shooting even when he wasn't. You have to chuck up a LOT of shots in your career for that to be possible.