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Kobe Bryant: Deron Williams 'psyched himself out' of Game 2 against the Miami Heat

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following Chris Ballad's fantastic longform piece on Kobe Bryant last week, the SI writer released a series of topics that was discussed with Bryant and people close to him.

One section, titled, "Kobe on... Confidence," was particular interesting. To no surprise Bryant has extreme confidence in his game and believes that he is the best to ever play. Gotham Chopra, the director of "Kobe Bryant's Muse," a documentary on the guard set to be released in November, recounts a conversation with Bryant that depicts his confidence.

Gotham Chopra, the director of "Kobe Bryant’s Muse", an upcoming documentary on Bryant, told a story about being with Kobe and watching the Nets and the Heat play. Recounts Chopra, "Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9.  0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.’

Williams did indeed drop a goose egg in arguably the Nets' most important game of the season, Game 2 against the reigning champions with an opportunity to even the series. It was the first time Williams failed to score in a playoff game. Williams has struggled with confidence issues during his tenure with the Nets, both publicly and privately, as he has struggled to remain healthy.

With surgery on both his ankles this offseason, the hope is that Williams will buck his confidence issues and return to his Utah form.