Kobe Bryant says he likes rough, physical style of basketball
Here's ESPN Los Angeles reporting on injured Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who recognizes that basketball is a physical sport:
Kobe Bryant said it's been hard to watch the Los Angeles Lakers as they've struggled in his absence, but it turns out he doesn't like watching the NBA in general with the way it is currently being played and officiated across the league.
"It's more of a finesse game," Bryant said before the Lakers played the Chicago Bulls on Monday. "It's more small ball, which, personally, I don't really care much for. I like kind of smash-mouth, old-school basketball because that's what I grew up watching. I also think it's much, much less physical. Some of the flagrant fouls that I see called nowadays, it makes me nauseous. You can't touch a guy without it being a flagrant foul."
Bryant said that the hand-check rule that was introduced nearly a decade ago during the 2004-05 season has made it easier for less-talented players to succeed. Bryant said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni is at least partially responsible for the shift in style of play across the league.
"I like the contact," Bryant said. "As a defensive player, if you enjoy playing defense, that's what you want. You want to be able to put your hands on a guy. You want to be able to hand check a little bit. The truth is, it makes the game [where] players have to be more skillful. Nowadays, literally anybody can get out there and get to the basket and you can't touch anybody. Back then, if guys put their hands on you, you had to have the skill to be able to go both ways, change direction, post up, you had to have a mid-range game because you didn't want to go all the way to the basket because you would get knocked ass over tea kettle. So I think playing the game back then required much more skill."