By LG


Written By Clifford, Santa Monica;

They have the wrong coach—not because he CAN’T coach, but because of his blind, unyielding insistence on bending his players to fit his system instead of the other way around. Beyond that, I still think there are games that Kobe shoots too often. Back in the days when he had teammates named Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown I wanted him to shoot until his arms fell off because his colleagues STANK. But now that he’s surrounded by highly skilled players like Pao Gasol, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and one of the smartest lead guards ever to play the position in Steve Nash, I thought he’d have the good sense to defer more often than he has—especially on those nights when he’s bricked, say, twenty out of twenty five of his shot attempts. But his massive ego won’t allow him to do that. He’d rather do it all himself (just like Phil Jackson alleged in his autobiography a few years ago). And even though involving his current teammates would foster team cohesion and extend his career, Kobe instead prefers to stay abreast of LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the most prolific scorers in basketball—wear and tear on his body notwithstanding…

 

I certainly don’t get it. But worse yet, neither does Kobe and at this point I doubt he ever will …

 

Clifford

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. W. Todd

    Clifford, I disagree with you thoughts on Kobe. Most of the time Kobe is deferring during the first quarter. Seems to me he is concentrating too much trying to get Howard and Gasol involved early. That is why the team starts out slow. Howard is getting stripped 3 out of 4 times he attempts toward the basket and Gasol seems to soft to finish. Steve Nash has the ball and he won’t be agressive. But, yes the last few games Kobe shooting % has been low but for the year he has stayed within the offense with his highest % for his career.

     
    • sportsbaron1

      While I acknowledge Kobe’s improved accuracy from the field–as well as his attempt to involve teammates in the offense (at least in the early stages of most contests), my contention is that it won’t last–not if he insists on carrying the load offensively for the bulk of the game, and certainly not if he draws tough defensive assignments (like covering the other team’s high scorer) and heaving up 23 shots every night at the same time. Even though his aggregate FG percentage is more than respectable given the volume of shots he takes, his success ratio often plummets in the tail end of big games after playing both sides of the ball begins to take its toll on his legs resulting in wayward shots and air balls at critical junctures. Even though I STILL want Kobe shooting 17 shots or so a game, I’d prefer to see him give the ball up to Pao and Dwight a total of about 6 times more per contest whenever the two of them are in position to score. If that isn’t being done then in my opinion THE COACH has to insist on it!! Because in the long run it can only help the team. If I were Mike D’Antoni I would also encourage Steve Nash to shoot more, even though I’ve been screaming at the Lakers’ brainless trust for years to get a TRUE point guard since the only one they’ve had who posted really good assist to turnover ratios since Earvin Johnson left was Nick Van Exel, whose A-to-T stat was 4:1.

      Again, if Kobe’s teammates had NO offensive ability at all I’d have no problem with him shooting the ball 30 times a game. After all, as I’ve said on many occasions, I think Kobe is the most highly skilled shooter in NBA history–yes, even better than everybody’s beloved MJ in that regard because the degree of difficulty of Kobe’s shots is frequently off-the-charts–not unlike those of Lynn Swann and Randy Moss in football when they were in their athletic primes, or Mario Lemieux when he was a young center for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But In Steve Nash the Lakers finally have a point guard who can also SHOOT from the perimeter and damned well!!. And I think the Lakers are being short sighted, to put it nicely for not taking fuller advantage of that. D’Antoni should build it into the offense and, as I said before, in the long run it will keep Kobe fresher, extend his career, and make it that much more likely that the Lakers will not only make the playoffs, but actually DO something once they get there.

      I’m out,

      Clifford
      Santa Monica, CA

       

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