Los Angeles Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Says AAU Basketball Is 'Stupid'

By Joe Bacaron, Posted: 04/20/17 02:03PM EDT

Kobe Bryant has blasted the AAU basketball numerous times for teaching kids the wrong way to play. He is now proposing a solution -- the Mamba League.

Bryant's ascendance is well-documented. Unlike most players who eventually found their way to the NBA, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar grew up in Italy where fundamentals are drilled in each young player instead of flash.

In a video message for Nike, he said they are trying to teach in the Mamba league not just the fundamentals of basketball but also guiding kids to becoming better sons and daughters. He said, unlike in the AAU, they don't really make the whole Mamba League as a platform for scouting talents, and that takes out most of the pressure thereby allowing kids to just have fun.

"Right now, I think we're putting too much pressure on these kids too early, and they're not learning proper technique of how to shoot the ball, or proper technique of spacing," the 38-year-old explained in the message. "It winds up eating away at their confidence. As teachers, we need to have patience to teach things piece by piece by piece. Over time, they'll develop as basketball players, but you can't just rush it all at once."

His comments about AAU basketball about a year ago still resonates as Bryant called the program "Stupid." For one, he said, children are not taught how to play the game at all. So big players, who will end up playing forward or center, don't even know how to properly post up.

Meanwhile, Gary Parrish, columnist for CBS, wrote an article about Bryant being wrong is some aspects about his assessment of AAU basketball. While generally, kids in Europe are taught more about the fundamentals, it shouldn't be pointed out at the expense of US basketball. Nevertheless, he said that Bryant is in the position to introduce changes in the broken system and that means the ball is now in the former Lakers guard's court.

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