"I just think European players are just way more skillful," Bryant said, according to ESPN.com's Arash Markazi. "They are just taught the game the right way at an early age. ... They're more skillful. It's something we really have to fix. We really have to address that. We have to teach our kids to play the right way."
Bryant blamed the lack of development on the AAU system.
"Horrible, terrible AAU basketball," Bryant said. "It's stupid. It doesn't teach our kids how to play the game at all so you wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don't know how to post. They don't know the fundamentals of the game. It's stupid."
Bryant was born in Philadelphia but spent his adolescence in Italy, where his father played professionally. He said that he would have developed into the same player if he had not learned to play in Europe.
Bryant's comments came after the Lakers' 109-106 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Spanish-born center Marc Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
- Dan Gartland