Mike Krzyzewski Reveals Kobe Bryant Couldn't Make Open Threes With Team USA Because He Was Used To Being Double-Teamed With The Lakers

Kobe Bryant was just about as good as anyone else when it came to hitting difficult contested shots in the NBA. He routinely ripped the heart out of the opposition and their fans by drilling shots with defenders all over him.

For someone like him, you'd think life would be easy when he joined up with Team USA because he'd then get wide-open shots. Well, it turns out Kobe was so used to not getting them that he struggled to make threes when he was open, as per Mike Krzyzewski, who coached the national team from 2005 to 2016.

"Kobe Bryant said, 'Coach I never get a standstill three.' I said, 'You will get standstill threes." He says, 'I'm always double-teamed.' (I said) 'You won't be double-teamed. You're going to get open threes.' Then all of a sudden he did and he didn't hit 'em." Krzyzewski said. "Then he's in every night shooting 1,000 shots a night. That's not an exaggeration."

It does happen at times that players are just too wide open and they miss shots and that's what seems to have happened with Kobe. With his work ethic and competitive drive, he wasn't going to let it be an issue for much longer and hit the practice court to get better at it.

Krzyzewski was trying to get the message across to his Duke players here that they should love the gym and should want to be there a lot, like Kobe.

Kobe Bryant's Remarkable Career With Team USA

Some issues with hitting open threes aside, Kobe's career with Team USA was literally perfect. It took him quite a while to make his debut, though. He had obviously blossomed into a superstar in the early 2000s, but his first appearance with the national team would come in 2007. That year, he helped Team USA win the FIBA Americas Championship.

Kobe Bryant would then win the gold medal with Team USA in the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, averaging 13.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.3 BPG. He retired after that with a perfect 26-0 record over three tournaments. Kobe had also played 10 exhibition games, though, and won all of them, so his final record with Team USA was 36-0.