With Kobe Bryant missing five consecutive games, the consensus was that the Los Angeles Lakers would begin to seriously struggle. The main concern was on the offensive end of the floor as losing the league’s leading scorer and anywhere from 25 to 40-plus points a game would be a devastating to a team that has struggled offensively all season long.
Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case for the Lakers as it seems the Chicago Bulls are rubbing off on the Lakers in terms of playing at a high level without their injured superstar. With Kobe on the sidelines, the Lakers have won four of the last five games and are currently playing like an elite team in the Western Conference.
Throughout the course of NBA history, great players have found it incredibly tough to become great coaches. For some reason, legendary players like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are just not suited for the role of calling the shots from the sidelines. These amazing athletes would rather just do the work than try to explain to a lesser talented player how to do it.
It appears that Kobe might be the exception. In the five games he has missed, Kobe has been making an impact on the bench as a member of the Lakers’ coaching staff. Along with obvious impact when on the floor, Kobe seems to have what it takes while coaching on the sidelines and has been dubbed, Coach Kobe.
On Tuesday night, the Lakers will face the rival San Antonio Spurs for the second time this season. This will mark the sixth consecutive game that the NBA’s leading scorer will take a seat and Coach Kobe will pick up a clipboard according to Kevin Ding of the O.C. Register via Twitter:
Kobe got some shots up today — pain-free — for 1st time since sitting out. Running and jumping next. But he won’t play vs. Spurs.
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) April 16, 2012
So even though it seemed as if the Lakers would be doomed without Kobe on the floor, they seem to have benefited from him on the bench helping call the shots. Hopefully, Kobe can return to the floor this week with his shin injury continuing to improve moving forward.