Kobe Bryant: Dirk Nowitzki's shot 'ugly'

Updated: February 23, 2012, 12:31 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Kobe Bryant stands by his comment that his imitation of Dirk Nowtizki's one-legged lean-away jumper is "sexier" than the original.

Never mind that Nowitzki has scored thousands of points with the uniquely unblockable shot that Bryant and Kevin Durant have recently added to their offensive arsenals.

"He knows it's true," Bryant said playfully after the Los Angeles Lakers' 96-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. "His [expletive] is ugly. It is. It looks terrible.

"Anybody in Dallas who says Dirk has a pretty fadeaway is just lying through their teeth. I'm not debating whether or not it goes in, it just looks disgusting. But it's extremely effective."

Bryant reached into Dirk's bag of tricks during the third quarter of the Lakers' rout of the Trail Blazers on Monday night, popping Nowitzki's patented one-legged lean-away jumper over Portland's Wesley Matthews. Then Kobe talked some playful trash to his fellow future Hall of Famer via the TNT broadcast.

"Dirk does it well, but I do it better," Kobe said after walking over to the TNT broadcasters during a break in play. "Mine's a little sexier."

Despite the harsh critique, Bryant has had great respect for Nowitzki's game, even before the Mavericks' four-game sweep of the Lakers in last year's Western Conference semifinals.

"I always knew he was cold,'' Bryant said before Wednesday's game. "I never understood people who thought otherwise. I thought maybe they just don't have the proper knowledge of the game.

"Anybody who can watch Dirk play and not understand what his value is or how good he is I believe doesn't belong in a reasonable basketball conversation.''

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.

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