Kobe Bryant’s Shooting Habits Aren’t What You Might Think They Are

Darius Soriano —  May 16, 2013

If you’ve followed the Lakers at all over the course of Kobe Bryant’s career, one theme that is revisited often relates to the stagnation of the Lakers’ offense and how that relates to Kobe’s shot volume.

On one side of the coin is the argument that Kobe shoots a lot because his teammates stop moving, instead choosing to watch him work with the ball in isolation. Kobe’s a gifted scorer in these situations, and the argument says when he gets the ball it’s easy to sit back and hope that he can do something positive with it.

The other side of the coin is that players stop moving because Kobe’s not going to pass them the ball anyway. We’ve all seen possessions where Kobe narrows his focus on the basket and, in the process, doesn’t pass the ball to teammates who may be open. That argument always ends with Kobe being a “ball hog” and someone who would rather shoot than pass.

I’ve always subscribed to the theory that it’s a little bit of both and that you can’t paint Kobe with any broad brush when it comes to his playing style. I’ve seen him force shots over multiple defenders when there was seemingly no need to just as I’ve seen him pick apart defenses with deft passes and high level decision making. There is no definitive Kobe Bryant style, he’s a chameleon on the court and, whether you like him or not, an offensive basketball genius.

That doesn’t mean he’s always right or that he’s infallible. Every player is prone to having bad games and making mistakes, the great ones included.

In any event, the video above is a nice snapshot into one part of Kobe’s game that has always been true (at least to my eyes). When the game is starting to slip away, Kobe tends to try and do more in order to help his team win. Where others might try to get their teammates more involved, Kobe tries to impact the game in the best way he knows how — by getting buckets. The interesting part is that, as the video explains, Kobe actually is more efficient when his team’s deficit swells and he’s trying to get them back into the game.

What this all means in the bigger picture is a topic for another day, but enjoy the clip above. Because while we may never get a definitive answer about why the Lakers’ offense stagnates, this video really does give us some insight into what Kobe could be thinking when the Lakers start to find themselves down big.

(h/t to TrueHoop for the video)

Darius Soriano

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35 responses to Kobe Bryant’s Shooting Habits Aren’t What You Might Think They Are

  1. It’s a good video. What it doesn’t get into is that questions about Kobe stagnating the offense are pretty silly, since offenses featuring are usually pretty good. LA’s league ranking in ORtg since 2000:

    2000: 5
    2001: 2
    2002: 2
    2003: 4
    2004: 6
    2005: 7
    2006: 8
    2007: 7
    2008: 3
    2009: 3
    2010: 11
    2011: 6
    2012: 10
    2013: 9

    A definite dip in the last 4 years, but even then they are in the top 1/3 of teams.

  2. I would like to be able to draw like that…

  3. Kobe: He is what he is. Or at least we all hope he still will be next year. Can you imagine if the guy defies everything comes back at an elite level, and averages 28 points per game, there will still be Laker fans questioning whether his play type is good for the team. I don’t understand this. For example if I did not like a particular person (hypothetically of course) in the Laker organization, and then they led the team to a title, I would quit bashing them : )
    Laker Droughts: The 3 year drought away from the Finals is already tied for 4th worst in Laker history. Two more years with no finals and it would be tied for second worst.
    WWL: You are correct with regard to other teams possibly enticing DH away from us. It is like when states battle to have companies locate there. They offer tax incentives, real estate, etc.. We need to put together a package for Howard that combats what others are putting together, and it needs to have more in the package than just – we can pay you more – that is already obvious.

  4. Darius –

    A question for you.

    Just curious if at some point you are planning to do a deep dive into what potentially the Lakers can do to improve themselves in the draft. I believe that the team is not going to make any significant moves that will upset the salary cap/tax flexibility created next summer. Do you have a short list of players you feel strong enough about that the Lakers should look to move up in round 2 or even into try to get into the latter half of the 1st round to take?

    I realize that the draft is still a month away and I also know that the Lakers only have a 2nd round pick (either #44 or # 48 depending on some business with Dallas). Under normal circumstances picking this low makes the draft a throw away as the likelihood of finding talent that can contribute is very low. However, I am intrigued by a trio of players that may fall to the end of the first round or into the second round. Given the dearth of other avenues to improve the overall talent of the roster maybe taking a flyer on some of these makes sense. I was curious about your thoughts on:
    • Dennis Schroeder – a 6’ 2” PG from Germany
    • Giannis Adetokundo – a 6’9” SF from Greece
    • Ricardo Lido – a 6’6” SG who did not qualify academically to play at Providence last season.

    Schroeder may be blowing up as I now see his name in the top half of the first round when a month ago he was deemed a second rounder.

    My thought process is that even if Howard resigns the Lakers still must target talent. If Howard leaves outright the Lakers should not only go ‘all in’ for a rebuild next summer but also should take advantage of this draft to get some young players on board. My question to you is: Are there any players that fit the bill?

    Thanks.

  5. Terri: good post and I’d second that request. I’ll also add some guys hopefully Laker scouts have on their radar seeing they all play on the west coast. Carrick Felix, James Ennis and Jamaal Franklin. All wings something the team desperately needs.

    Focusing on Kobe’s shot total is something that’s been a constant forever. I have my nights where it’s unbearable but for the most part it’s okay whether up or down. My only gripe is not letting plays develop. Sometimes he’ll cut off plays to post up or in an area that’s open where he can get his shot off. Instead of going through option 1-whatever. A good shot from Kobe is great but a great shot in an offense can sometimes be better.

  6. When a shot doesn’t go in the option not taken always looks better.

    There has never been a perfect player in the NBA. They all have faults. The really interesting thing is exactly why Kobe is so polarizing. The last 10/11 years are understandable – the groundwork was laid during his first 6 years in the league.

    I contend there are two major reasons for Kobe hatred — 1) he didn’t give the press their due during his early years and the press is an extremely biased and bitter enemy with a very long memory and 2) Kobe’s personality/age simply didn’t blend either with his teammates, who were busy cozying up with an amiable Shaq, or others who thought he was somehow sullying the image of Michael Jordan by thinking he could compete with him.

    When he was accused of sexual assault he became an instant pariah and his polarization was complete.

  7. Terri and Kevin:

    I totally agree that integrating young talent through the draft as been missing from the Lakers these past years. Part of it is that there hasn’t been good players where we’ve drafted. But that is only partially true – we never seem to try and ‘trade up’ to steal a solid young player that could be in the rotation for us.

    I think we do a bad job overall of taking two dimes and nickel and getting a quarter (lesser players for a decent one). We are great, however, in taking four quarters and getting a dollar back (turning decent players into a great player). Maybe you can’t have it both ways?

    It sure would make it easier if we could find a diamond in the rough each draft that we could use in the rotation. I’m curious if Darius feels there is one this year.

  8. Mitch has never been really great at finding players we could integrate into the team. We have a few, but they have been average at best. This may be on Mitch, but it could also have something to do with the fact that Phil Jackson has never been a coach who developed talent out of the draft. He always emphasized experience; I suspect because his talent was managing egos and systems, not developing talent. Then we hired Mike Brown and expected him to win immediately with what we gave him. He may have been able to develop a player, but the pressure put on Laker coaches almost insures they will play veterans.

    While Mike D’Antoni likes to play a short rotation, he has also developed some talent. However, how in the world could anyone develop talent this last year? With the injuries, players were forced into playing time they neither earned, nor could handle. With the expectations the coach was forced to ‘win now’ in every single game – no relief.

    I may have issues with some of the decisions made, but I do admit that this year has been a pressure cooker like none other. We all have to recognize that when we criticize what has happened.

  9. Agreed we do not do a great job of acquiring rotation players through the draft. Outside of Kobe, Fisher and Bynum has there been a player of note that we have drafted?

    We can’t always claim that it’s because of where we draft. San Antonio has had equally poor draft picks but they always seem to pick players that make their rotation. Parker, Ginobli, Splitter and more have been very late 1st round picks. Kawani Leonard was acquired by dealing a previous pick, from a position of strength (PG) for a position of need (SF).

    The Spurs have simply scouted better than we have and that has allowed them to stay competitive and keep payroll down in their market. The Lakers should borrow a page from their book.

  10. The Lakers won back to back championships and went to three straight Finals with Farmar, Bynum, and Sasha playing key roles. All three were home grown talent. They also traded Marc Gasol (late 2nd round pick) to the Grizzlies as part of the Pau trade. Let’s not act like Mitch can’t pick players who have talent or find fitting pieces who can contribute.

    The real issue is that the Lakers deemphasized the draft in order to build through free agency and trades when their payroll got high due to contract extensions for their core players. They continued that trend last off-season by trading draft picks in deals to acquire Nash and Howard. This is one way to build a team — Miami and the Grizzlies are two teams still playing whose key players were nearly all acquired through free agency or via trades — but, for the Lakers, it’s not led to titles the last few years.

    In the future the team will need to reemphasize the draft, simply because it’s a good way to add cheap talent. And when that happens, I think the team will find good pieces. The past has shown the team can snag good prospects.

  11. Let’s not forget guys Mich has plucked off other rosters that have contributed. Shannon Brown and Earl Clark were “throw ins” and Trevor was sitting on the pine with the Magic. And Jordon Hill turned out to be better then anyone we could have drafted with that pick we sent with Fish. It was called a salary dump but suspect Mitch had his eye on Hill because played well against the Lakers.

  12. Matt, what kind of time period are you looking for in Lakers drafts? The team didn’t draft Kobe. Plus, he and Fish were drafted by Jerry West. If you’re looking for players of note the team has ever drafted, there really haven’t been many in the last 20 years, but they have drafted guys in the past like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, AC Green, Vlade Divac, Elden Campbell, Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones. Since Mitch has run the front office, they’ve clearly focused on acquiring established talent. They traded lots of pieces (including Marc Gasol and a pick that turned into Greivis Vazquez) to get Pau. They gave up draft picks to acquire Steve Nash. They gave up Bynum and a first-round pick for Dwight. I don’t even know when their next first-round pick will be, but they’ll probably find a reason to trade it away, too.

    The Lakers have drafted great players in the past, and it is great players that they want–not rotation players, not roster filler. There are a million cheap free agents available every summer who would love to play for the Lakers and can fill a spot…even play a few minutes if needed. The Lakers want great players, and the draft is a high-risk method of finding those guys. Too many first-round picks get wasted on players like Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, and Michael Olowokandi.

  13. Michael H: I have Shannon on my list of Laker “throw outs” as opposed to “throw ins”. Half full or half empty : )
    Craig W: I agree with you. The area of young player acquisition and development has not been our long suit and yes – this also relates to Phil’s philosophies. Changing this when saddled with our payroll, is going to be difficult. What we “should” be able to do is find some role players via late picks etc.. However, what is needed to fully succeed is to get top players through the draft (like OKC), and in order to do that, you need the picks, the right coach, the right philosophy to develop the players, and a lot of luck. Quite an order : )

  14. Rusty Shackleford May 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Kevin Garnett on his ensuing retirement: “I look forward to persuing my longtime passion of LARPing.”

  15. Warren Wee Lim May 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Robert, thanks for taking notice. I believe its a real concern that has not been discussed as well. Its not like there’s more to add, because salary-wise its already pre-determined.

    What we can do is make basketball moves and decisions to increase the odds of Dwight winning a championship. Trades may be up or down, left to right. Either way, we may not get the best player in the deal, we might just be getting a few “ok” players but we need to show Dwight this will be a team tailored for his abilities. 2014 is a good ‘fallback plan’ but Dwight is the main concern and 2014 wouldn’t be a good year to contend if Dwight is not here anyways.

    I am suggesting for younger players, one that would match Dwight’s abilities, athleticism and would complement his deficiencies, as well as his strengths. 3-pt shooters galore, slashers that would enable him to pass out/in when he’s doubled/tripled, and some guys who can, in general, defend, simply by being able to run. A speedy PG with great ball-handling skills can’t hurt too.

    But whats on our wishlist may be wishful thinking if we don’t use our assets and find better fits rather than bigger hits (of the jackpot). Dwight is already jackpot enough and keeping him here is like winning 2 powerballs in 1 day.

    Moreover, a Pau trade out would also signal Dwight that we are no longer stuck in the past and that we’re willing to do everything for the future. With the unknowns coming from any possible Pau deal, start Jordan Hill and Earl Clark (only if reasonably-priced) and you already have an athletic and great rebounding frontcourt. You can make an argument that Hill + Clark (in terms of skill) might equal Pau Gasol. But they can both, individually and collectively, run and defend better.

    Ron, unassumingly would have to be waived via amnesty.

  16. Everytime I see the smiley faces in Robert’s comments it reminds me of the South Park episode where Kartman is instant messaging with NAMBLA members…. Smiley face, smiley face, wink wink…. sorry, but it cracks me up every time. I guess I’m just a South Park nut.

  17. Darius points out that we have not drafted as poorly as it appears. I agree and disagree. M Gasol as a 2nd round pick and was a key piece in acquiring Pau – that is great. On the other end of the coin Farmar was simply let go and Sasha was traded in a salary dump. Neither brought back a rotation player – that is not good.

    While the draft is an imperfect science we are not as good at it as we could/should be. It should be a source of cheaper young talent but it the talent does take time to develop. Because the Lakers have been playing like a loaf of bread with an expiration date on it we have not had the luxury of ‘waiting’ for youth to blossom. It’s been more prudent for the team to trade the picks for plug and play talent. The problem is that this strategy has not produced the desired outcome (championships) and as a result the near term future is a little bleak because we lack the talent and roster flexibility that you would hope to have.

    Moving forward we simply have to maximize the draft as an equal part of the roster development process (along with trades and free agents). If there is a player or two that the FO believes can help I hope we push into the top of the second round or even break into the first round to get him. I think next year is going to be a struggle to make the playoffs. That will result in a high draft pick. It would be nice to get a building block in this draft as well. We’ll be that much farther ahead when the inevitable roster remake comes next summer.

  18. Aloha Robert

    Concerning OKC and the draft. What you failed to mention is the top priority for doing what OKC did was being bad for a very long time and of course being very lucky. Where would OKC be if Portland had taken Durant instead of Oden?

    everyone always wants to point to the Spurs and say look what the Spurs did late in the draft. They found 2 all stars late in the draft! Yes they did, TEN YEARS AGO. Mitch has only found one., Gasol. The truth is finding stars late rarely happens.

    I haven’t agreed with everything Mitch has done. Giving up a 1st to dump Sasha’s contract and selling a 1st round pick to the Knicks come to mind. But for the most part the Laker approach over the last 15 years has been more successful then the Spurs.

  19. Michael H – The Spurs are a unique story and their success was borne as much out of poor play (the lottery produced both the Admiral and Duncan) as astute drafting. I think the frustration is because as Bobby points out the Lakers recent strategy of abandoning the draft has not been successful and as a result our path back to the top is not clear. There are few pieces other than Dwight (and his return is not a 100% assured) to build upon.

    I do believe that the new CBA makes success in the draft more critical as cheap young talent helps with financial roster management from year to year. While the Lakers are blessed with significant cash flow the punitive tax bills require a salary cap reset from time to time (like next summer).

  20. thank you darius for setting the record straight on mitch kupchak. I don’t really know if coaches “develop” players- organizations do. There are a lot of factors that go into it – draft pick (age, maturity level, college/high school background), salary level of player, coaching styles, the type of team (are they winning or losing?), luck, injuries, etc. If we’re going to look at MDA or Brown developing talent, it would be wise to look at their previous coaching stints. You can do very little in a year. Mitch definitely ain’t perfect, but he’s one of the best GM’s around. He has a lot more on his plate than just drafting players. That’s why you have scouting staffs…hey, didn’t Jim Buss ditch those guys during the lockout? So that means Mitch probably played more of a role in choosing Earl Clark.

  21. MannyP: The South Park thing is good, as the intent of the smiley faces is to remind everyone that I am not taking myself too seriously. It is also a reminder to myself of the same as I tend to get wrapped up in Laker stuff.
    WWL:”2 powerballs in 1 day. ” Agreed. So let’s influence the ping pong balls in our favor. Dwight: What would you like to see us do? Who would you like to coach the team? What type of offense best suits you? Not saying his answers would drive everything, but they should influence it significantly.
    Draft vs Free Agency/Trades: I am more of a FA type guy. However, it is tough to do exclusively that way. The Kobe era Lakers are a great example of where we did most of it through trades. The Magic teams were a combination. With today’s CBA, you need high picks and lot’s of cap space or both. Unfortunately for another year, we have neither : (

  22. Robert – Yup. This is just a fun place to come and voice opinions. I enjoy your comments even if I dont always agree.

  23. Josh: I’m not arguing that historically the Lakers have been poor at drafting players. I truly believe that the Lakers are the best franchise in all of professional sports. It’s just that I am frustrated that the team has not had an approach to the draft that is as aggressive as San Antonio’s.

    Michael H pointed out that the Lakers have been somewhat frivolous with their pick – packaging one to give away Sasha and selling one to the Knicks. You can’t do that if your factor in the picks you have to trade to get talent (Nash/Dwight) or if you whiff on the others. The result is a roster like the one we currently have.

    Again, I think the frustration we all have with this topic is that our approach has not been successful. Regarding the Spurs – while Parker and Ginobli were drafted 10 years ago – Splitter and Leonard are starters that were drafted more recently.

  24. Lakers recent selected 2nd round picks since Shaq trade: Marcus Douthit, Ronny Turiaf, Von Wafer, Cheikh Samb, Sun Yue, Marc Gasol, Joe Crawford, Patrick Beverly, Chinemelu Elonu, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter, Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Chukwudiebere Maduabum, Ater Majok and Robert Sacre.

    The Lakers hit on 1st round picks but it’s been tough in the 2nd.

  25. All the doom and gloom about the current roster is really strange, i.e. we don’t have a bad roster — we have a pretty good one. Sure there are weaknesses, but that is true of all rosters.

    I am not trying to be polyanna about this, but perhaps keeping the main pieces in place is the best way to tell Dwight we are trying to win next year. They learned to play together this year, while enduring a historically high injury season. We may have to expect an above-average injury risk next year, but we don’t have a bad team.

    I think the blow-it-up people sound like frustrated Knick fans and want us to repeat their mistakes.

  26. Craig W: Lakers are a typical 35 year old sg season from being a lottery team. It took a career year from Kobe to stop that from happening this year. This team isn’t good. Unless Dwight turns into a hall of fame center on offense.

  27. This team isn’t good. Unless Dwight turns into a hall of fame center on offense

    The Lakers big 4, as a single unit, shared the floor for 189 minutes all season. To make claims about how good they are in such an injury ravaged season isn’t a logical perspective. It’s fine to argue that some injuries were expected or that based off the age of the roster those should always be part of the equation. But what the Lakers experienced this season, in the form of key players being hurt AND those players’ backups being hurt at the same time was devastating.

    No claims about how good they are or aren’t can really be made based of this season’s performance. There’s only speculation based off past trends.

  28. Darius: If they had looked the part and played better we could assume what we saw was solely due to injuries. In games started by Nash, Kobe, Metta, Pau and Howard Lakers didn’t win a game. I think it was 0-7 and 0-15 if we count preseason games. And nothing never actually clicked maybe due to injuries but that was a key talking point on fb&g before the season started. Without offensive brilliance from Kobe the team would’ve been in the lottery.

  29. If they had looked the part and played better we could assume what we saw was solely due to injuries. In games started by Nash, Kobe, Metta, Pau and Howard Lakers didn’t win a game. I think it was 0-7 and 0-15 if we count preseason games.

    Citing a 7 game sample from the regular season or a preseason where the coaches at the time have openly admitted they didn’t care about winning games and then projecting that out to a full season is not close to a convincing argument. I can’t take that seriously at all.

    Yes, Kobe needed to have brilliant offensive season for last year’s team to make the playoffs. That season was riddled with injuries and change when what the core group needed to mesh was as much stability and time together as possible. I’m not sure how this is even arguable. But if you want to project last year’s results to next season, by all means do so. I just can’t take that thinking as a serious analysis.

    As I’ve said countless times, this team needs to improve in certain areas. They do need some personnel upgrades and better depth. They also need better health. If those things occur — especially the health part — and their performance mirrors what happened this past season, I’ll happily admit how wrong I was.

  30. Darius: you’ve been much more even keel and optomistic than me throughout the season. Taking a wait and see approach rather than game to game fanatic analysis. But even you mentioned Darius injuries played a big factor on the team’s success before the season started. So taking a big part of this season, injuries, and projecting it to next season isn’t speculation it’s much closer to serious analysis. Especially since Kobe, Pau, Metta and Hill, all expected to be big rotation players, underwent surgery late in season. How can injuries from this past season not be considered when talking about next season’s team when many are expected back?

    Defensively is where the major problems are but offensively it was individual play not team ball. Nash and Howard never got in rhythm. Lakers will still be starting from scratch again but with a training camp and more understanding of teammates tendencies.

  31. As I said, injuries are always part of the equation. However, what the Lakers dealt with is pretty insane. Again, at any given time they were not only missing their best player at a position, but that player’s back up. It’s one thing to be missing Nash, another to be missing Nash and Blake as the Lakers did for a quarter of the season at the beginning of the year. It’s one thing to be have Dwight dealing with his back issues and his shoulder injury, it’s another to have that happen while Pau misses time with his knees and then a concussion while Jordan Hill is out for the season. No team can sustain those types of injuries in a season and compete. This is what I mean by projecting last year’s injuring to next year.

    And yes, those players all went under the knife. They also get an entire off-season to heal and be stronger heading into next year than they were during this one. Injuries can be quite random in how and when they occur. No one is saying injury isn’t possible, but the bigger point is to project the same level of injury onto next year isn’t a serious analysis.

    Adjustments will need to be made in terms of Kobe. Minute allocations and rotations will need to be better, especially in regards to Nash. There are things the team can do. But injuries are basically random. Maybe we can say Pau’s foot and knee issues were from the accumulation of heavy minutes, but even if you believe that isn’t the argument that with him taking a full summer off and having procedures done to help alleviate some of those issues a good thing?

    I’m not claiming things will go well. I’m simply making the point that saying they won’t via a projection based off last year isn’t sound.

  32. Darius/Craig: I have always maintained that we have a great roster. Injuries and coaching caused the roster to not play to its potential. However our roster may not be as good next year for a variety of reasons. DH may not sign, KB may not come back at 100%, Ditto for Pau and Nash after their procedures, MWP may get amnestied, AJ will be gone, and everyone is a year older. That said we still stay the course and ride this “roster” out for next year. We have no other choice.

  33. I want to say a couple of things about Kobe before I talk about the Lakers and the draft.

    Kobe was a golden child to the press. If you look at early footage of him during interviews, whether those conducted in game, or in formal settings, he had smart but pat answers. always smiled, and said most of what is expected of a young player in the league. Kobe’s image took some hits during the later Shaq era, as they clashed, and the press often chooses a side in such things. It has something to do with access to the athlete. The next hit came with the whole rape story in Colorado. Over time, Kobe rehabilitated his image and part of that rehabilitation was in his willingness to “be himself”. He became more prone to express his opinions and these opinions are now based on experience and acute intelligence. If you look at Durant’s comments after losing to Memphis, he made it clear that he is not willing to change who he is in order to win a championship. He believes in who he is and that he does not need to be Kobe, LeBron, MJ or anyone else. He needs to be KD. Our own KB is who he is, and part of who he is, rubs some people the wrong way. We know that. I think he always rubbed some people the wrong way. Especially those people who are fans of the many teams he helped to defeat in important games. He has continued to rub some people the wrong way with his surly behavior. Many feel he preens too much, yet they won’t complain of Russell Westbrook. Some complain he has an attitude of entitlement, even if made aware of the many hours of training, rehabilitation therapy, and film study he has accumulated. They will say he is selfish, even as he has had to mold his game to winning championships in different eras and with different players. Maybe Kobe does have some measure of these flaws, but the biggest sin Kobe ever committed is one that I think he rescued Durant from. Durant never had to be Michael Jordan. Durant has been allowed to be himself. I think he can thank Kobe for that.

    I am in agreement that Mitch has done his job in the draft and in trades. Turiaf was an important piece in that 2008 run. He has been a member of a championship team. His career has now spanned 8 seasons. Not bad for a 2nd round pick. Talk all we want about Ginobili and Parker. Neither has been argued to be the best player at their position. Marc Gasol is now being talked about as the best center in the league. It’s arguable. That pick alone should stick Mitch in the top few spots for GMs drafting in the 2nd. Since the Lakers traded Shaq they have been in the lottery once. Not only was Bynum the right pick, he was traded at his highest value. The second Dwight Howard signed his first piece of Lakers memorabilia, he did more for the organization then Bynum was due to do this season. Other then the Bynum draft, Mitch has had to make due with trading away picks for cash, in deals for veterans, and picking through the Darius Morrises of the world. In a perfect world, he would have picked Aaron Brooks or Arron Afflolo instead of Javaris Crittenton. Plenty of examples such as these over the years. 20/20 vision is something only young minds expect.

    Finally, Darius is 100% correct about this roster. It is an old roster, but other old teams had health with the old guys, such as the Celtics. Some young teams, such as the Wolves, had worse luck with health then we did. No need to rehash the facts. We suffered them as they happened. Take a look around the league. A Curry injury, and perhaps one to Harrison Barnes, effected Golden State’s series against the Spurs. Ginoblli and Parkers’ health, plus Duncan’s age will effect them in the next series and beyond, if they get there. Nobody thinks OKC loses to Memphis in 5 games if they had Westbrook. It’s a game of inches, and one of muscle, ligament, tendon, bone…. What this team needs is better health, Kobe coming back a decent version of himself, Dwight to come back, and some 3+D players. All that would let the real strength of this team flourish. Assuming they sign their free agents, most of the talent is there.

  34. P. Ami,
    Loved your post and agree that Kobe was a “Golden Child” at one time. The difference is twofold: 1) Most golden children have very thin shells and the press turns on them as soon as anything even remotely newer shows up on the scene (this is what happened to Kobe) and 2) Kobe came in near the end of Michael Jordan’s career and it has always been an insult to the press and the fans that he presumed to place himself in MJ’s company.

    You are also correct in that once Kobe was compared to Michael Jordan, it allowed all who followed to take on a different persona.

  35. I have always maintained that we have a great roster.

    It would have been a great roster core in 2009–the five starters plus Blake and Jamsion. The 2013 roster was no more than pretty good.