When Kobe Bryant has been discussed in relation to the Lakers’ recent draft picks and young talent, the word mentor is one of the first words likely spoken. During summer league, announcers consistently spoke about how much D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle could learn from Kobe — a process that, for Randle already began last year. Whether it is work ethic, training techniques, mental approach, strategy, or tactics on how to approach an opponent, the message is the same: Kobe can teach these young kids the game and they should take full advantage of this while he’s still on the team.
This, of course, is 100% correct. Kobe is an all time great and whatever knowledge he can pass on to the next generation of (hopeful) Lakers’ franchise players, the better. When Julius Randle speaks about how much Kobe helped him in his rehab via helping him to break down film and from a mental preparation standpoint, we all nod our heads and say “this is great”. It’s even easier to think of how he can help Russell in similar ways, especially since both players are guards and the amount of time Kobe has spent beating the types of defensive coverages Russell is likely to see next season and beyond.
While this aspect of Kobe’s role is important — and likely have the most lasting impression — we should not forget that Kobe will also need to help these players on the court.
Part of the reason why this doesn’t come up as much is almost surely because no one really knows how much Kobe has left. His last three seasons have ended via injury. When he was finally “healthy” to start last season, he had some flashes of brilliance as a playmaker and scorer, but also saw his efficiency plummet and his effectiveness suffer for longer stretches than any other season besides his rookie campaign.
Still, Kobe’s presence on the court and ability to impact the game will be important to the young players. We must remember that he’s the only playmaker on the roster not named Clarkson, Russell, or Randle. His ability to be a passer and set up man might be the difference between the young players having to create shots for themselves (or each other) exclusively, or having it done for them. His scoring and finishing ability could turn the types of passes we saw in Vegas go unfulfilled turn into actual points. His ability to bend the defense could give the young players the little bit of extra space that turns a contested look into an open one.
These might seem as though they are little things or only produce short term gains for the young players, but they matter in the larger scheme of their development. Young players need all the success they can get in these early stages and Kobe is likely the only veteran who can aid in that success most through his ability to actually make players better (at least offensively). Of course the young players will need to do this for each other as well and, over the course of their careers the chemistry they develop will do more for making the game easy than a single season of Kobe.
But, in this short term, Kobe will need to help too. And he’ll need to do it on the floor, in the games just as he’ll need to in the film room, in practice, and in the locker room as the mentor many expect him to be.
From the previous thread:
@rr: Yeah, if the Lakers were really in on Ty Lawson, I would question that, unless they were planning to move him or Williams on to another team if they got him.
I would more than question such a motive as it makes little to no sense. A team usually tries to acquire help for positions of need not one of surplus/talent. The Fox Sports article’s headline says it all, “How the Rockets just saved the Lakers from themselves with Ty Lawson”. At what point do the Lakers begin to pursue moves that actually are beneficial as opposed to constantly flirting with disaster (Melo, LA etc).
The only possible explanation for pursuing Lawson, is that the Lakers’ are feeling iffy about their chances to show improvement in the standings this season. If the FO made promises to sponsors/partners about being much better than last year and they only improve marginally – that could be a problem.
Lawson, if he returns to form (from his 4th DUI, and 2nd in this calendar year) could help the Lakers. However, it would be at the expense of pushing Russell to the bench.
Tim A. says
Strong points here.
Watching the summer league roster, I had a feeling that ball stopping through excess dribbling could be a problem for some of these young players. We know Kobe has been particularly guilty of that in recent seasons as he’s struggled to understand what his game is now. That’s not a knock. Kobe has always been something of a searcher. And his career outputs proves that his probes yield good results far more often than not.
Personally, I’m expecting Nov and Dec, if everyone is at close to optimal health, to be highly explorative for everyone on the roster. Which means more of what we saw in Vegas. Which may not be super fun every night. But will eventually give way to cohesion in Jan and Feb. I hope.
And if not, ah well. There are still some excellent pieces on this roster. And you can finally see what the post-Kobe era might be about.
Rich K says
There seems to be a concept that Kobe is and continues to be some sort of mentor. Because he’s been a great player and his longevity makes him a great coach? I simply suggest the name Michael Jordan for an example as a mentor…any questions?
@ George: Lawson, if he returns to form (from his 4th DUI, and 2nd in this calendar year) could help the Lakers. However, it would be at the expense of pushing Russell to the bench.
I have no problem taking on Williams to use as a trade piece in the future. His value is established and even a so/so year wouldn’t hurt his return too much.
Lawson is a different story – 4 DUIs is a PR nightmare waiting to happen. If he recovers, he’s still got 4 DUIs! If he doesn’t he then becomes a possible bad apple in the clubhouse for the Lakers’ young core: Randle/Russell/Clarkson. He also becomes a potential bad influence on Upshaw. I simply don’t see the upside in trying to obtain him.
The Lakers’ dodged a bullet here.
Nice write-up Darius;
How true it is that Mamba should in all likelihood be of paramount importance to the development of our young fellas this coming season!
Here´s to The Black Mamba staying healthy this season – the injury bug be damned!!!!!
[Something commenter Rich K seems to ignore is that KB is KB, not MJ – seems simple enough…]
Craig W. says
Throughout his career many players had their best years playing with Kobe. This doesn’t happen by accident if you are playing with a ball dominant guard. This is where the ‘talking heads’ really don’t know what they are talking about, but are just getting attention.
Kobe has learned how to run a team. Now he is tasked with helping several young players to get better as fast as possible. We are not likely to see how he does this, because it is much like the ‘hockey assist’ – and we are following the ‘slam dunk’.
Regarding Lawson: The South has a different perspective on drinking and driving. Their open container laws are a case in point. So its possible that he’s not as much of a negative PR issue in Houston as he would be for the Lakers, who play in a state with very strict DUI laws.
As much as a fan I am of Kobe I don’t think he’s the best mentor for every player. Not everyone can use his advise to their advantage being one of the games most fierce competitors, I don’t see roll players being able to relate to him
His advise helped Clarkson but it will not really help Randle. Randle is a roll player theirs no way around that, that is simply his ceiling in the NBA. I don’t see him being anything even close to an elite player one day and Kobe mentoring, him to be one is actually hurting him. He seems to think he has the right control the ball every possession either forcing his way from the top of the key to rim, not breaking plays to get his own basket 90% of the time, leading to a turn over every time. He has the skill set of a good roll player but because of Kobe, Randle seems to think he can force the issue and be effective like Kobe does which is hurting his play a lot. He needs to know his roll in order to be more effective and not a liability in this league.
As for Russell and Clarkson, Kobe’s advise works. Their scorers, and players you can shape a team around. Clarkson could turn out to be a Monta Ellis type of guard, and Russell will be a franchise player one day. These are the type of players that could benefit from a mentor like Kobe.
Kobe is a Lakers treasure and the last two years have done little to dampen that perspective. While I am on record as being against the Kobe extension, I have never been against Kobe.
I’ve always felt that Kobe has been a demanding but fair team mate. The Kobe/Shaq years were tough — how many teams are blessed with two alpha players? Shaq’s approach to the game (toss it inside) only worked when Shaq was in great shape which was rare as his Laker career ran down. I think ultimately that’s where the two butted heads as Kobe was always in great shape and ready to push his limits on the court. He bristled at having to defer to Shaq who only worked himself into shape as the season wore on.
I am hopeful that Kobe maintains his health this year because I think there is invaluable experience he can impart on our younger players. I think he knows the end is really near and this older wiser Kobe is very much open to being a positive influence.
Todd: “I think he knows the end is really near”: The question is how near? If Kobe plays the year out and does reasonably well, I think this could be an issue for the Lakers. KB may want to play 21 + 22 and the Lakers might be forced to bargain with him (on salary), or force him to retire (or leave). These were the exact reasons given for the last extension, yet the whole thing may backfire.
chearn: Issue for some – windfall for others.
Playoffs: The predictions are actually more reasonable this year. There were playoff and 50 win predictions during the last two summers, so now that the team is slightly better, the predictions will be closer to the actual record. Besides I like when people make specific predictions as opposed to my personal favorite: “they will be better than expected.”
Robert, not only will “they be better than expected”, but they will be “fun” and “exciting”. At times, they will be like the Spurs: “a pleasure to watch”.
Here’s something specific, using the cliche of the moment, “ceiling”: the Lakers ceiling this coming season is 30 wins. In fact, if they approach this number I expect them to be showing signs of acute altitude sickness.
Robert: I think its a problem is Kobe wants to play longer than this year. I believe the Lakers won’t ‘move forward’ until Kobe retires.
– The FO, Jeanie in particular, is clinging to Kobe as if he were 10 years younger. So there’s a natural deference to him in her thinking that isn’t productive for moving forward.
– Coach Scott will continue to defer to Kobe in practice and on the floor. We’ve got to move beyond this.
– Other FAs: I think that as long as Kobe’s here another elite (alpha player) is not coming.
Until Kobe’s last chapter is played out the franchise is somewhat frozen. So I would hope that Kobe understands that and if he’s healthy this year that he calls it quits on that good note.
I could see it now if the trade actually went through. Ty Lawson and Robert Upshaw getting kicked out of practices for showing drunk and high.
R: Wow – the Spurs and “pleasure to watch” in the same sentence. You really know how to hurt me. It is all good though as your post made me laugh.
Todd: Well – let’s see, but my point is that the same logic that applies after year 20, could have applied after year 18. And the same reasons could result in an extension. I enjoy Kobe immensely however not at the expense of the Lakers. I have yet to see Kobe cost the Lakers anything of substance. ” I believe the Lakers won’t ‘move forward’ until ________. ” I have a different completion for that sentence.
“Shaq’s approach to the game (toss it inside) only worked when Shaq was in great shape which was rare as his Laker career ran down.”
Look, save for that one final season on the team, Shaq was simply the better player and it’s not even close. And unlike Kobe BeanPole Bryant, Shaq was not only carrying around a lot more weight, he was also getting rather more of a pounding over the course of a season. For how entirely ungrateful some Lakers fans are, Shaq led the league in FG% for 6 out of his 8 seasons with the Lakers, and despite shooting just over 50% from the line and not being a 3 PT shooter, he still had a higher TS% than Kobe every season they were on the team together. And now for those who worship TOGN (The One Great Number):
Shaq – Kobe
27.1 – 14.4
28.8 – 18.5
30.6 – 18.8
30.6 – 21.7
30.2 – 24.5
29.7 – 23.2
29.5 – 26.2
24.4 – 23.7 (Shaq’s worst year as a Laker by far)
Shaq was an efficient scorer, only the one season going for more than 20 FGA per game. Kobe, in comparison, was an inefficient volume scorer. And for why you dump the ball inside, and seasons not leading the league are marked by an * after the number:
And so you get what those numbers mean, for how inefficient Kobe was in comparison to Shaq, take the .570 FG% over 10 shots = 20 points max possible x .57 = 11.4 points. Kobe would have to go for 10 shots from 3 at .380 to even it out. Kobe’s career avg from 3 is .334. Kobe has otherwise never reached .500 from 2 point land.
Lastly, they both had and have attitudes that could do with some improvement, but let us not rewrite the history.
Who knows what will happen? But I would guess that this is definitely Kobe’s last year. If he manages to stay relatively healthy and even plays decently well, then, I think, he will definitely hang them up.
That way, he’ll be able to go out on a high note and on his terms.
One way or the other, I definitely sense that Kobe is ready to transition into the next phase of his life — whatever that might be. Of course, only time will tell.
Slappy: My favorite quote of the whole era was Phil saying “We have Shaq and nobody else does”
Baylor Fan says
Slappy – nice post.
Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.
It still amazes me that despite all the pounding Shaq took inside, he did not lose his composure.
Craig W. says
I think we can agree to disagree on whether the Lakers can move forward before Kobe retires. I don’t know whether there is some ‘Kobe hate’ there or you just think Kobe is so completely washed up he is dragging the team down, but I simply have to disagree that his influence brings something negative to the team. I know he has something positive to bring to the business side of things, as well.
@ Craig W.: No hate for Kobe — love the guy. He sacrificed so much early in his career for the team I’m sure that most scoring records would be his if he was the first option early in his career. I just think it’s time to move on — he hasn’t been healthy and takes up so much cap space. I really feel the Lakers have been handicapped by him. Would love to see him go into management and work with Mitch for a few years then if it works out take over. But I feel he’ll want to go into business outside the Lakers.
@ Slappy: don’t have time for a long response but I always sided with Kobe because Shaquille missed so much time. Look at their games played and I think you’ll see the numbers bear this out.
Supposing Kobe will have a ppg of 20 pts, 10 rpg, 5 apg and Lakers make the playoffs and most important, willing to play for $10M only next season, will you consider re-signing him?
If not, another team will continue the ghost of Kobe until Count Bryant signs off completely like a candle in the wind or (nail him down while sleeping like Count Dracula lol).
Guy who can’t likely can’t play anymore is taking up one third of the payroll, so there’s that. Take a look at his FG % age last year, so there’s that. Then consider the team winning % age before and after he went down. Right, none of these are advanced analytics, but the numbers are telling.
Awesome. A slimmed down Kobe playing 25 minutes per game max. Since he’s thinner and has been working on his lower body this means his legs are stronger. Stronger legs means he’s gonna have his shot more often than last year. And hopefully he’ll take less shots per minute than last year, though this expects everyone else to step up. If that can happen, maybe he can shoot a bit over 40%. That would be dope.
Texas docent allow open containers. Most of states aren’t in the south that allow open containers.
If the offense revolves around Kobe this year the team will be as bad as last year.
Less you all forgot he was not good when he played last year.
If you think he is going to pass the ball to rookies as apposed to trying 25 foot fall away shots you don’t know Kobe.
If he is not averaging at least 20 in his farewell year he will just shoot more.
Guy has been our king for 17 years. Based in the last 3 the team won’t grow until he has retired. You can’t turn the guy into something he is not.
A passive 15 shot coach on the floor is not happening. Sorry for the bad news. Scott is here because of Kobe and he will never stop him from taking that last shoot at the same 20% of recent years.
This is still Kobe’s world and we are just visitors. So get used to it for one more year.
Then consider the team winning % age before and after he went down
They were 10-25 with him and 11-36 without him and they lost 12 of the first 13 after he got hurt.
That said, Kobe is the past.
I belive that kobe, for as long as he plays, will always be a positive influence on any team he plays for. First, you are able to study his moves and counters up close. Clarkson and russell better watch closely, because they could learn a hell of a lot of things simply by watching kobe do his thing from the post up, triple threat or catching the ball on the move. Secound, he demands excellence every day, and i really dont have a problem with that. Whats wrong with demanding someones best, especially when you are playing for the same team?!? I dont get those soft players today crying over everything. Better to learn from a guy like kobe than from, say, a guy like howard. Third, kobe is still gonna win you a couple of games if he stays healthy. We saw some flashes, and i expect kobe to have some great showings during next year, too.
@oldtimer: you really think if kobe is gonna put up those kind of numbers, that he will be cool playing for 10mill per year?!? His asking price would be somewhere btw. 15-20mill, which would be fine with me, cause there aint too many shooting guards in the league putting up 20/10/5, right 😉
J C says
I agree with the poster that said the Lakers were probably in play for Lawson because they saw an opportunity to get a pretty good impact player on the cheap — and it would probably mean a better win-loss record after 82 games. I’m sure they don’t feel like they did anything too spectacular in FA.
Their moves felt more like (warning: baseball analogy coming) single, single, double. Lawson had a particularly good game against the Lakers last year and I know they always liked him.
I also think that Mitch believes in getting all the talent you can first, and worry about position later. Especially when many of our players are yet to prove themselves. One more veteran could have made quite a difference to this team.
As far as Kobe goes, I know he is one of the all time greats and knows the game like very few others. I am hopeful he can play a bit more of a team game this year, stay healthy, and help the team usher in a new era. And if he stays healthy I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play one or two more years at a “discount.”
Kobe mentoring. I recall back in the day when Kobe was a one-man-gang, Caron Butler used to work out with him. Caron mentioned he had learned a lot from Kobe and that his advice and work ethic were a great help. Later, Caron went to the Wizards and scored by the dozen.
Kobe can be of great help – to whoever listens. It is time for him to make his curtain call.
Step 1 to getting back on the right track. Dump the Princeton offense!!! We’re starting to embrace the new NBA in our choice of draft picks only to stifle their development in this antiquated offense.
Da Bus says
We really need to move on from this “Kobe Needs to Retire”
1. As competitive as the Mamba is, he would be the first to hang them up if he could not produce.
2. Most players would have quit after the first injury, but he worked hard to get back
3. Kobe is not Steve Nash, he is not chasing money. Although he should be compensated for the TV deals and marketing campaigns the Lakers have because let’s be honest, watching a Kobeless Laker team is not a marketing dream.
4. Kobe is not the reason big time free agents do not want to sign. If you think this is true you don’t have a clue. It wasn’t Kobe whole blew the pitch to lamarcus… And I think players know that without Kobe it will be tough to win an they can’t handle the pressure of playing in LA.
Lastly don’t compare Mj to Kobe especially in relation to being a mentor. Kobe doesn’t discriminate whether the player he is helping is an all star or role player. Someone stated earlier that players have had their best years playing with the Lakers and that was a directly related to Kobe’s mentoring. He helped Trevor Ariza develop a consistent shot that got him his big money contracts. He ha also worked the Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar, Sasha and countless others. Most of them are not all stars or all time greats. Kobe doesn’t discriminate on talent level so it’s laughable when someone says he won’t mentor a young player because of their potential.
Warren Wee Lim says
I just want to finish the season in one piece, with the arm attached to the shoulder, foot to the leg.
That said, I wish everyone all the best. Everything else is gravy.
Anonymous at 9:00 PM was me.
Again, I can remember watching Kobe do incredible things on the court and thinking, “I’m so glad he’s ours.” But, the reality is that the present day Kobe at his salary and contribution on the court is not beneficial to making the Lakers better in the future. And, truth be told, the future is all we’ve got.
I want him to stay healthy and enjoy his celebratory year then to move on to a non-player role in the organization. But, as mentioned previously, I think Kobe has his eyes on business success outside of basketball.
Craig W. says
About Kobe’s salary…
We had room to sign a high-end free-agent this year and couldn’t. What makes anyone think we could have done better with $15M more in the bank? I thought the complaint was that the front office couldn’t sign a target, even with the money. Whatever you think of the player, Kobe’s salary has nothing to do with the players on this year’s team, so how about we stop bringing it up.
I do not begrudge Kobe’s salary, as I believe he had been vastly underpaid for most of his near 20 year career. But an extra 15 million of cap would have been the difference between telling a free agent yeah just you are going to be added vs saying you and another max level guy. So in that sense it is a big deal. I don’t expect Kobe to get another huge contract but, if he remains healthy and the new guys make things easier for him I would not jump to conclusions about his retirement either.
Hypothetically if Kobe had signed for a fraction then a scenario like this would probably play out.
Bozo A “The money is enough, plus I noticed you have enough to sign another max player.“
FO “ That is correct Bozo A. If you sign with us, we will then pursue Bozo B (whom we know you want to play with) and you can help us with the pitch to him after signing.“
Bozo A “Great, count me in. We will get Bozo B over here in Lakerland together.“
@Craig W: Vasheed beat me to the punch. Its the difference in signing an additional front line player. Or the ability to play the third wheel in a trade due to the cap space you have (while picking up a usable asset along the way).
Again, looking at this objectively, Kobe’s contract and production has not been a plus for the Lakers these past two years. He hasn’t been healthy and hasn’t contributed on the floor. No one is knocking Kobe’s career contributions for the Lakers. That’s just the facts.
The Lakers have been built to tread water (one year player deals/push cap space forward) for the past two seasons and that has produced a historically bad basketball product.
David P. says
Long-time reader. First-time poster.
I would love to see Kobe make a commitment to assists this year. He could easily average a career high in assists this year if he wants. We’ve seen the ability in the past when he’s purposely backed off on his own shot to prove to everyone that the team can’t win unless he scores. The problem is that he’s not willing to do that a regular enough basis to allow the team to grow with him in that role. If he committed to it this year, he would bolster his legacy and provide some much-needed space and freedom for the youngsters to learn and flourish. Unfortunately, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. If the past is any indicator, you can’t teach an old Mamba new tricks.
Andres Garcia says
Nice article. Content’s been great this summer. If nothing else, kids will be able to see KB’s work ethic up close.
I read a stat that said Lakers ran 8th most pick and rolls last year. Perhaps staff sacrificed summer to implement base Princeton stuff, knowing the p n r stuff will be easier to implement later. Trying to think positively, hoping. Selfishly, it would have been nice to see some easier stuff ran this summer though.
Craig W. says
Bozo A & Bozo B — since the only Bozo we have signed in free-agency is Shaq, I don’t see how you can reasonable say we would have signed two high-end free-agents. Sure we might have, but we also might get the #1, #2, or #3 pick in next year’s draft if we don’t make the playoffs, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Since the Lakers haven’t ever been built through a group of youngsters before, but we also haven’t been built through free-agency, I don’t see where people are so sure Kobe handcuffed the organization by his salary. I think it is more a matter of the signing confirms previous biases people have – and I am including myself in this category – rather than the actual knowledge of what would happen. I just don’t believe Mitch or Jim are stupid, whatever else they may be.
What makes anyone think we could have done better with $15M more in the bank?
It’s not complicated, and I explained it already. Given how weak the roster is, if the Lakers were going to try to reload in FA in 2015, they needed to be able to be in play for two max guys, not one. If they had not had 30M tied up in Kobe and Young, they would have had enough cap space to make that play. So, simply put, committing the money they did to Kobe and Young was structurally incompatible with chasing LaMarcus Aldridge.
Would they have gotten two max FAs? Probably not. But it would have been a structurally coherent plan. What they actually did was not.
I just don’t believe Mitch or Jim are stupid, whatever else they may be.
I don’ think they are, either, but signing a guy with Kobe’s age, mileage and recent injury history to a contract that makes him the highest-paid player in the NBA for his age-36 and age-37 seasons was simply not a good bet from any angle that relates to team-building in a league with a salary cap. That was obvious when the deal was signed, as any number of people here and elsewhere said at the time, and it is even more obvious now.
As noted before, in the games before he got hurt, Kobe had dramatically cut his FGA and started piling up dimes. Here again is the link to his Bask Ref Game Log:
Jim and Mitch mostly seem to know what they are doing. They have signed solid agents, drafted well, and have achieved the youth\veteran balance. I do question the pursuit of Ty Lawson. Was it because they were looking to unload unwanted contracts or was it solely to pick up Lawson? He is solid, although a troublesome fellow. Was he one of the guys who got Shaw fired? I recall hearing a few of they players told management they refused to play for Shaw, so that was one of the reasons for his (Shaw) departure. True?
It’s been mentioned millions of times that the Lakers haven’t built through free agency in the past, just as it’s been mentioned millions of times that the FO set the expectation that FA signings would be a tactic going forward. It’s also been mentioned millions of times they haven’t been terribly successful signing free agents so far. It’s also been noted – millions of times – that the financial landscape has changed. It’s also been mentioned millions of times that we shouldn’t complain about Kobes contract, the coaching, the scouting, the drafting, or Jimmies dress code.
It’s also been mentioned that one can scroll past topics/posters one doesn’t care for.
The biggest issue is Byron Scott! Its hollywood, its the Lakers, It should be showtime, entertaining and yet Byrons offense is the most ugly old offense now in NBA.
He should adapt to spurs offense like other teams. Kobe wants to retire, blaming his aging body that makes game looks hard. While the Spurs offense makes Duncan & ginobili feel like playing for years coz the offense is so easy & its good for an old body.
Spurs offense have the same effect of Dantoni offense that makes an average shooter shoot really good. But actually with less running & less injury. Spurs offense is a halfcourt offense. To get the advantage of fastbreaks & not allowing opponents set their defense w/o running fullcourt all the time(prone to injuries) the spurs uses teamballmovement in halfcourt. Doing lots of ballfake, short dribble slash to create angles for quick passing. Opponents cant set their defense, spending too much energy defending & make them disoriented = spurs great shots, opponents less energy for their own offense & disorientation that kills their rhythm offensively/defensively.
Spurs offense is subconcious so they can easily focus in defense. Unlike Byron & old offense, always needs to read the defense that wears down a pointguard mentally, physically penetrating the defense & at the same time demanding for a good defense????
Too much pointguard use by byron that caused kyrie, cp3, kidd prone to injuries in rookie years & is it coincidence both of them got injured, their body cant last in the middle of last seasons playoffs!!!!
Please fire byron!!! & hire someone that will install spurs offense. Good offensive rhythm always inspires good defense. While bad offense gives bad defense. He can make the lakers play good enough offense & defense but I will bet they will be injury prone & a failure season again & excuses….
Kobe needs spread the floor offense so he can stop wasting energy being physical to create his offense.
Kobe has stated, or at least I remember hearing, that one of his goals this year is to have the most efficient shooting numbers of his career. If true and he stays with it…this alone can be hugely positive for the team and the development of our young players, esp. Russell & Clarkson. There is little doubt that Kobe can impart NBA knowledge & winning mindset lessons to this group that can hasten their development. It’s not often that rookies/first year players can have a player of Kobe’s stature mentor them. Here’s hoping that he does just that.
And DJ has taken to the airwaves today to “explain” his side of things. This belongs in the category of far too little and far too late. Beyond the fact that an adult should not enter into a handshake agreement before one has truly thought it through…a change of heart is something that happens. But to hide from making contact with Cuban is immature in a teenager and a full blown character issue in a grown man. And according to Stein Jordan has still not had any contact with the Mavs & Mark Cuban
A million times means 000 000 (a digit plus six zeros). I don’t think this forum had been around a million times nor the oldest newspaper in LA has published a million publications.
There you have it, Kobe is ending his career in Barcelona. That will make some posters very happy.
Rick B says
“Better than expected” is almost always because of the coach. How long has it been since Byron Scott led a team to a “better than expected” record?
@ Craig W.: since the only Bozo we have signed in free-agency is Shaq, I don’t see how you can reasonable say we would have signed two high-end free-agents.
It was Jim Buss who has bet the farm on resurrecting the Lakers through free agency. Odd that he gave Kobe the extension so he could buy time to figure out what to do next only to find that the very strategy he wanted to implement (sign two max guys) was thwarted by the fact that he gave too much money to Kobe in the first place.
If this were a play, I’m not sure if it would be a comedy or a tragedy. What’s the old saying, ‘that we are sometimes our own worst enemy’
@ George: Odd that he gave Kobe the extension so he could buy time to figure out what to do next only to find that the very strategy he wanted to implement (sign two max guys) was thwarted by the fact that he gave too much money to Kobe in the first place.
Funny way of looking at our situation. Whatever it is — it’s Shakespearian!
Old timer you are right none of the topics and pleadings I mention have occurred millions of times it just seems that way. I’d gladly take a dollar for each time they have come up however; it’d make for a nice rainy day fund.