Throughout his remarkable NBA career, Kobe Bryant drew a lot of criticism for his 'hero ball' style, repeatedly taking heavily-contested shots and refusing to pass the ball on key stretches of the game.
That's why some other stars weren't that interested in teaming up with him in the Los Angeles Lakers, as he was unwilling to change the way he played and didn't want to recruit other top-notch players.
And, according to the latest podcast episode of “The Dream Team Tapes: Kobe, LeBron & The Redeem Team," Kobe's shot selection was a major issue for LeBron James when Team USA gathered ahead of the 2008 Olympics.
Mike Krzyzewski Says LeBron James Didn't Want To Play With Kobe Bryant:
(Transcript via Fadeaway World)
“We’re gonna win and in the first half, Kobe started taking Kobe Laker shot, which they had not been doing all game…and LeBron he looks at me and I know we got a real problem…I told him I will take care of this trust me…So we were up all night as a staff trying to figure out how to handle this and I said give me his shots on a computer and I’ll have an individual meeting with Kobe. So I’m really apprehensive. Let’s put it this way about having this meeting but I gotta do it, I said I’d take care of it.”
“So I brought him in and I said, look I wanna talk to you about shot selection. Let’ stake a look at these shots and I said ‘they’re bulls*it shots. You can’t do that when you have Carmelo and Lebron. It erodes what we’re doing.’ So I don’t know what I’m gonna get but what I get is like a gift from god. He just said, ‘You’re right I won’t do that. What else?'”
Jason Kidd on experiencing Kobe’s preference to taking extremely difficult shots during games and practices (30:53 – 32:25)
“Kobe would take some crazy shots. There was a point in practice where I asked if he could catch-and-shoot. And he looked at me like I was speaking a different language…Do you always have to dribble the ball to shoot. I think he took offense to it at first, but I was really actually trying to help him make the game easier.”
Ironically, James and Bryant would grow to become friends towards the final passage of their careers, with the latter passing LeBron the torch as the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers, but it seems like they didn't always get along.