Kobe's such a revisionist.
He knows he loved having the ball all the time when he was younger. He got older and started wanting it less and less. It boiled over when he wanted to trade Bynum for Kidd, I think that's when he realized he should have the ball a little less and why Pau was important for him.
Now of course he wants it less, it means less work for him. I love the quote though and he's right about not being selfish to a fault. He's definitely selfish, but he puts winning above that which is what matters.
I'm kinda surprised you don't consider the comment to be elitist! Hahaha. (Oh boy, here comes the explanation! about how saying everyone dumb that doesn't agree with you is NOT elitist in THIS case... hehe)
Seriously though, I don't think Kobe's propensity for wanting the ball so much isn't driven from selfishness.
There are players who take a lot of shots, because they love to shoot and they honestly believe they can make them all. And they do it just because they love to score. That isn't Kobe IMO.
The fact is, he does shoot a lot. He does touch the ball a lot. And yeah he does both of those thing more than you probably want any player to. But the motivating factor is that crazy desire to win, and sometimes, that means you do things that aren't actually in the best interest of winning, but yet you think they are.
I liken it to how when teams fall behind, they sort of naturally start taking a higher percentage of 3 pt shots. They're trying to get back in the game, and even though the best thing is probably to take a breath, relax, and do what you did at the start of the game sometimes, that will to get back in it makes you do things that aren't always the best thing.
But it also means, you're likely going to win a lot, and that Kobe has.