Originally Posted by Indian guy
After the first game of this FIBA tournament Kobe's quickness/explosiveness on offense has looked no different to me than last season. It's defense where he's looked far quicker compared to the last 3-4 seasons(of course, he's also trying on D this time around so that's part of it too).
As I scrolled down I was going to post exactly
this, and then saw your post. I mean, you literally took the words right out of my mouth. He's moving his feet more quickly on defense, but a lot of that is quickly picking up and repositioning the feet/body rather than straight or sliding movement. On offense, on the few quick moves I've seen him try to make (e.g., quick first steps on face-ups), he looks about the same as last year, and hasn't really blown by anyone that I've seen (in fact he's been called for a few charges when trying to get by guys). On all of his drives, actually, his straight-ahead speed looks similar to last year.
It's odd, but I think that these two types of quickness require different muscle groups, which would explain the difference. The explosiveness that "first step" type moves require takes a total body commitment rather than just foot speed.