Lakers Nation Debate: How Does Kobe Bryant Need To Change His Game? Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="170"] Topic: With Bryant growing older and coming off two devastating injuries, we wonder how Kobe Bryant will need to change his game to e [new_royalslider id="170"] Topic: With Bryant growing older and coming off two devastating injuries, we wonder how Kobe Bryant will need to change his game to e Rating: 0
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Lakers Nation Debate: How Does Kobe Bryant Need To Change His Game?

Topic: With Bryant growing older and coming off two devastating injuries, we wonder how Kobe Bryant will need to change his game to ensure individual and team success.

Context: The Lakers plan on changing their fortunes as quickly as they can, and expect to turn into a contender in these last two years that Kobe Bryant is around.

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A lot of things will play a part in allowing the Lakers to rise up, such as who they select as their new coach, who they bring in and retain in free agency. But arguably the biggest factor of the Lakers’ success will be the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant, and in particular, how he adjusts his game.

Coming off a torn Achilles as well as a fractured knee cap, Bryant will likely lose more quickness and speed than he already had because of his age. Bryant countered that by dominating from the mid-range area, and improving his post-game, but now, he may need to make some more changes.

Some of this will be dependent on who else the Lakers bring in to fill in the roster, but Bryant remains the centerpiece of this franchise. Byron Scott recently said in an interview that Kobe will have to change his game a little bit, but how?

Verdict: We took the debate to the Lakers Nation faithful on Twitter and asked them in what way does Kobe need to change his game in order to ensure individual and team success? These are some of the responses:

The Lakers will go as far as Kobe Bryant takes them, but at this point in his career, he will need more help than ever. However, it will be on Bryant to elevate some of these guys.

Bryant recently spoke about Steve Nash, and how he plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played, even comparing his style to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Bryant will have to do something similar.

Bird is known as one of the best shooters of all-time, but people forget that he averaged more than six assists per game throughout his career. Bryant has shown that he can operate from the post and mid-post, now he will have to expand that game, and make people pay for helping too much off his teammates.

Bryant has undoubtedly adjusted his game as he has gotten older, but the biggest tweak he needs to make now, is bringing his teammates up to his level. He has done it at times, but now he needs to take it to the next level.

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I thought it was interesting what one Twitter follower said, about buying into the system. Bryant’s leadership has been called into question at times throughout his career. Once the Lakers bring in their new coach, Bryant alone can be the man who contributes to or hinders his success.

By becoming the true hub of this team and raising the game of his role players, Bryant will not only change his game this season, but his legacy.
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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

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  • Daryl Peek

    “play within whatever system the next coach implements. So the team can buy in as well.”

    Now that’s real talk.

  • Chrmngblly

    It would be good for Kobe if they moved him to the 3. He can play the position and I think he will still be quick enough to defend SFs, whereas the new wave of quick 2-guards will be tougher for him to keep up with. Also, he may need to be a little more patient with his own game and let the game come to him a little more; let his teammates carry more of the load. Teach and lead as much as possible. Be the coach on the floor.

    So he needs to connect with whoever the next coach is really well.

    • TheTruthKills

      SFs all around the league would be salivating to get a piece of Kobe if he was moved to the 3. He’s going to be a defensive liability no matter where he plays.

      • They call me Pringles

        But in today’s NBA, small forwards are being utilized as power forwards, and shooting guards are being used as small forwards. It’s what I’ve noticed..

      • Badazztj12

        That’s sure but if we resign bazemore, he could be guarding the better player from 1,2, and 3 spots and possibly Durant because you no some times he play the 4 spot

      • Chrmngblly

        Possibly, but right now it is the 2-guards who are doing the salivating. If we go by your way of thinking, nobody but dominant defenders will ever get to play.

        No, we are going to have to play team defense and Kobe can defend the 3 better than the 2. If we want Kobe on the court for his leadership and offense, it would be better if we moved him to the 3.

        He’s big anyway. Remember, anyone can bulk-up but nobody can speed-up.

        • TheTruthKills

          That’s how elite coaches think. No defense, no PT. The only thing keeping Kobe in the lineup is his reputation. He will be a liability on defense no matter where we hide him.

          • Chrmngblly

            NOT True. Two seasons ago, Kobe was averaging 27 pts/game. He is a former defensive all-star who will not need someone to tell him to put his hands up. A good defensive-minded coach will have the team playing D and Kobe doing his part. If he can’t cut it, I suspect he will retire, unlike Nash.

            He hasn’t been in the lineup since the 27 pts/game I just mentioned.

          • TheTruthKills

            That was two years ago. Before Kobe ruptured his achilles and fractured his knee. Everything you bring up is before the injuries. He played six games this past season and looked like a shell of himself. Why don’t you talk about that Kobe instead of the one from two years ago. Let’s talk about 13.8 points per game.

          • Chrmngblly

            No one but you expected Kobe’s game to be back at 100% the moment he was cleared to play. No one even counts those 6 games.

          • nlruizjr

            really !! and you are analyzing Kobe’s ability on 6 games ?
            Kobe has rested most of that season and thru this summer, plus the fact that he is getting himself into playing shape, Kobe was hardly in playing shape when he came back and played those 6 games, apparently you know very little about Kobe and his drive to compete, now he may not be all he was before he injured his Achilles but not far from it !!!!

          • TheTruthKills

            So it’s fine to analyze Kobe from 2 seasons ago (before the injuries)? We all know Kobe is well rested; so was Derrick Rose. How did that work out? Kobe’s drive to compete means very little when he’s on the bench and meant even less when he was on the floor this season. If you really expect him to be near what he was 2 years ago you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m expecting 20-5-5 from Kobe upon his return. We’ll see flashes of the dominant player he used to be, but not much more than that.

      • nlruizjr

        surely you are underestimating Kobe’s game, Kobe losing a step does not mean he is a cripple, Kobe will simply have to use his experience and BB-IQ to get space, no problem for Kobe even at 80%-90% probably still better than most PG’s.

        • TheTruthKills

          Kobe had already lost a few steps on defense. An achilles injury and a fractured knee won’t help him. His BB-IQ and footwork will definitely aid him on offense, but he will be getting torched on defense next season.

    • mamba army

      no. kobe can’t move on that spot.

      • Chrmngblly

        What do you mean? Playing the three like KD and Melo and LBJ is not like some sort of low post statue. Kobe can kill from the 3 on offense. And on defense, maybe he can still hold his own.

  • TheTruthKills

    He needs to be more efficient and choose his shots better.

  • Michael Moeller


    • Chrmngblly

      It must have been your old lady he banged.

    • vdogg

      ha. no true rape victim brags about the sex with her alleged rapist, michael. get a clue, pal.

    • nlruizjr


  • Gemini Ac

    No need to change his game..As healthy kobe he played very well..he is the best!.

  • TRUE Laker Fan

    Kobe needs to be more of a facilitator rathef than lookin to average 25+ ppg. If he comes back as a dominate ball demanding playef like he did when D12 was here there will b less ball movement, the ball will stick on one side of the court for a period of time making us easier to defend, less team chemistry, and more losses than necessary. Kobe has shown the ability to become an efficient distributor. He should look 2 average about 18-20 ppg, he DOES NOT need to be “the man”, averaging 27+.

  • Kenneth Michael Caluducan

    Byron Scott is the man for the job. #showtimereup.

  • KB24

    Kobe still needs to try to recover his lost 1st or 2 steps of quickness before the injury then continue to improve his post game and mid range game,try to have a more respectable 3 pt percentage (38-40%) BE A TEAM PLAYER, to do that, he must also IMPROVE HIS PASSING SKILLS,get the rebound if its near to you but dont force it,reserve your defense come clutch time (lockdown defender in the 4th),dont force your shot if you are double or triple teamed, just PASS THE BALL TO THE OPEN GUYS IN THE WINGS(3D PLAYER) or in the paint(big guys), let the point guard bring the ball to the halfcourt unless its last 2 minutes,improve shooting percentage and efficiency, better shot selection, KEEP THE WILL ALIVE!!!!!!!!!! Have the endurance and stamina to play whole 48 minutes of action but play no more than 33 minutes every game(3 minutes per OT period)bring back the athletecism you have 3 years ago but use it on crunch time only, STAY CLUTCH ……

  • KB24

    Remain at the 2 spot DONT PLAY THE 1,3,4 and of course 5 KOBE,GINOBILi(more of a spot up 3),harden(choker in the playoffs,in love with step back 3s and likes to shoot jumpshot even at the young age who can still jump),wade(kobe can easily guard him loose and let dwade shoot the 3,gets steals but kobe is taller and more effective im the post and mid range than him,kobe will guard him loose and he will not use a fake jumper at the baseline..nick young did that but he has been featured in shaqtin a fool)oladipo(undersized more perimeter wade),jimmy butler(2nd best defender of lebron…kawhi is the 1st And pg24 at 3rd,kobe can easily guard him coz he is not a shooter,on defense he will have to adjust bcoz lbj is attack1st 2nd and 3rd before shoot mid range or 3, kobe is more of jumpshot bcoz he is aging but his greatness wont fadeaway(unlike my favorite fadeaway jumpshot in basketball

  • adrian

    If they can get Paul pierce’s old ass too play good team d then I think they can easily get Kobe’s old ass to play d too, no big deal. That being said I think Kobe should look to be a better spot up shooter ala Ray Allen or better yet Reggie Miller. Next year he’s need to have his best 3pt percentage of his career.

  • Juan Naranjo


  • kool

    Achilles injury is normally something that’s career ending. You’re only a shadow of yourself after such an injury. Kobe was once the man. He got rid of Shaq and didn’t stand up for other good players. Man I loved me some Kobe. He’s over rated old, over paid and selfish at times, should’ve sign for a lesser contract to bring on some help like Miami to win multiple championship. Kobe want’s to be a one man show. Kobe’s mind set has to change. He needs to recognize, nurture new talent and be part of the Laker 3-5 year rebuilding to prominence stage and get back to team concept.

    • ImSusola

      Dominique Wilkins tore his Achilles in his late stages of his career came back made 2nore all star teams all these guessing and thoughts mean nothing till we see him play but truthfully we aren’t going anywhere in the next 2years

  • http://conformingdissent.blogspot.com Dissenter

    I’ve been a season ticket holder for the past 6 years and seen hundreds of games in person at this point. I sincerely believe that the best thing Kobe can do for the team is to retire. That cap killing contract that Jeanie (not Jim, Jeanie- look it up) Buss offered him will make him even richer while at the same time prevent him from winning another championship. That’s not to say he couldn’t play any more. I think he can come back and contribute. But, you guys are in fantasy land if you think that the 1st Team, All-NBA Kobe is the one we will see next season. I’d have been all for an extension that allowed the team to start over because I do believe he should retire a Laker. And I’m not mad at him for taking the deal (any of you would take any $50M someone offered you). Anyone being honest about how the economics work, under the current CBA, would have to admit that the deal will make it painful to watch the team for the next 2 seasons. The Lakers are bigger than any single player. Hopefully, Jeanie will learn very valuable lessons while watching the next few seasons unfold. And as a lifelong fan of the team, I would certainly love to be proven wrong.

    • xiewar

      this next season i think , you’ll be proven wrong. . . get hook by your mellow drama tickets

      • http://conformingdissent.blogspot.com Dissenter


  • slipstik

    He should play old man style like ray allen, shoot 3s and move around, catch and shoot. no more ball hogging since she is no more the same kobe as before.

  • www.lakersnation.com

    Kobe Bryant is now at the age where he has already proved he is a champion 5 times” i believe Lakers should bring in some pure shooters Carmelo or Love who can take a lot of pressure off Kobe and get some players who have some wonderful defense as well and balance the 2, Kobe to me is on boss level where these other players should come in and do most of the work you know like in the
    work field the higher up you go the less work you do and i think Kobe has earned that right from wat he’s done for the organization i believe it will take a yr or 2 for Lakers to get back at contender status and we will be back, i believe in Mitch Kupchak.

  • Brent

    Rubbish, no one really knows what he has to change. We didn’t get a large enough sample to evaluate. Everyone is assuming. It will have to be proven that he can’t do it first before he changes.

  • mamba army

    distribute a bit more during the first three quarters while taking more efficient shots. Then close in fourth

  • moas

    mark jackson is the man for the job, steve nash as a player coach?

    • Chrmngblly

      You take Pastor Jackson, let the Lakers hire a full time coach.

  • YODA

    Kobie needs to change teams not his game !Kobie enjoyed passing melo the ball in the olympics why not come to ny and do it again for number six!

  • D

    Easy, retire.

  • chisdagreat1

    Kobe can play what he has always played, its not like he has to fear any one of these up and down plays of today, there are only three players playing above Kobe, Labron, Durant and westbrook other than that Kobe will out play the rest of the league.

  • chrisdagreat1

    please unload the dead weight, steve crash, paul weaksol

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