Kobe Makes His Teammates Better

Kurt —  January 17, 2006

The conventional wisdom in the mainstream media is that Kobe is a ball hog.

“Why can’t he make his teammates better, like all the greats did?” they ask.

Well, he does. Over at 82games.com, friend of this site Kevin Pelton did the detailed work and it shows that when Kobe is on the floor, all the Lakers are better.

Remarkably, every single player has improved his Offensive Rating (while playing with Kobe on the floor), if only by a little in a couple of cases. However, Parker and his backup, Sasha Vujacic, have seen their efficiency cut into by about a quarter when Bryant leaves the court.

George is a particularly interesting case that illustrates why field-goal percentage is not sufficient to address this issue. While George’s field-goal percentage has basically been the same with and without Bryant, his Offensive Rating drops dramatically without Bryant. George hits twice as many 3s per field goal with Bryant on the court, and turns the ball over far, far less. He has just eight turnovers in 433 minutes when teamed with Bryant, 13 in 236 by himself.

This is a must read (and shows why Pelton is one of the best around).