In the past two seasons Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has only taken one charge. And if you ask him about it he would tell you it was “by accident” because he “couldn’t get out of the way”. Based on what he’s seen in his career and talking to former legends in the sport, I think he makes a lot of sense.
After practice today, Kobe Bryant answered questions about taking charges and flopping in the NBA.
“We got a couple guys that take charges, but for the most part, the one guy that took a charge is now playing in Oklahoma [referring to Derek Fisher]. I don’t take charges. Metta [World Peace] don’t take charges. Steve [Blake] will take a charge every now and then, but most everybody else just stands up and plays.”
“I learned from my predecessors. [Scottie] Pippen had a [messed] up back taking charges. [Larry] Bird had a [messed] up back taking charges. I said, ‘I’m not taking charges.’ I figured that … out at an early age.”
“I’ve seen Michael [Jordan] not take one … charge and he’s healthy his whole career and the same thing with Magic [Johnson],I might not be the smartest guy in the room, but I can figure that … out.”
Bryant thinks that taking charges is a skill learned at some leading colleges like Duke University. He referenced Miami Heat forward Shane Battier as an example, a player that learned the skill under Mike Krzyzewski at while playing for Duke.
“Shane [Battier] does a great job taking charges. Fish actually does a great job taking charges too. … It’s a skill. It’s definitely a skill. I know at Duke they teach that, they drill that, how to step in and take charges and sacrifice your body.”
Kobe also made a statement against flopping:
“I don’t flop. There’s a difference [between taking a charge and flopping]. We all know what flopping is when we see it. The stuff that you see is where guys aren’t really getting hit at all and are just flailing around like a fish out of water. That’s kind of like, where are your balls at?”
The Los Angeles Lakers play the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of their playoff series Wednesday at 9:30 ET. The Thunder hold a 1-0 series advantage.