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This Season is a Moment of Truth for Kobe Reviewed by Momizat on . Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game. Some would say he's been every bit of an assassin in the locker room, as he's be Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game. Some would say he's been every bit of an assassin in the locker room, as he's be Rating:
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This Season is a Moment of Truth for Kobe

Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game. Some would say he’s been every bit of an assassin in the locker room, as he’s been on the court. While I’m certainly not willing to make such a bold claim, I will say (at times) his insanely-intense competitive nature gets the better of him. 16 years, five titles, seven Finals into his career…the man has absolutely nothing to prove to anyone.

Unfortunately, Bryant still feels the need to remind us of his ‘greatness’ at moments that simply are not beneficial to the team’s progress. Does this mean I want to run him out of town? Of course not. Does it mean I even think he should be limited to a certain ‘fixed’ number of shots? No, not saying that either. In fact, I’m fully in favor of Bryant taking the shot in a “last shot” circumstance on most occasions. Make no mistake, Kobe is still “that guy” when it comes to those moments.

We’ve all heard of the “trust” and “team issues”  players like Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace have echoed over the past 10 months. Initially, I took Ramona Shelbourne’s (of ESPNLA.com) excellent article about players having concerns with Mike Brown’s offense at face value, but I think it actually goes deeper than that. In the wake of Pau Gasol’s recent comments about the team’s:

“Lack of concentration, overconfidence, and a certain level of selfishness, in general.”

I’m realizing the ’800-pound-gorilla in the corner” isn’t Mike Brown’s offense, although it does look rough without a point guard. It isn’t frustration over lack of playing minutes, although that would certainly be difficult to endure. It isn’t even about Bryant’s total number of shots, although that can also be called into question at times. This team’s true issue is that Kobe Been Bryant has reached such a ‘height’ that he may be simply beyond reproach. If Phil Jackson, 11-time Champion, found it difficult to ‘rein in’ Kobe’s hyper-competitive nature, what can be expected of Mike Brown’s coaching staff?  Bryant has mentioned “having no rivals” (which is true), but what I would like Kobe to realize is he does in fact have ‘peers’. I’m asking Bryant to ‘help’ himself in this situation, by taking his leadership role to even that of another level.

Self-assess, Kobe…but not from your own perspective on this one. Bryant often mentions wanting that proverbial ’6th title’ more than anything else, so why not take a easier path?  No one, in their ‘right minds’, would ever ask Bryant to stop or alter his inner-drive.  That would be an exercise in futility, as “tigers don’t change their stripes.”  I’m only asking him to make the same adjustments to his approach to the game as he does when he has to overcome an injury/adversary. Not only, because it would make his teammates happier and more involved, but because it will simply make things easier for Bryant along the way.

Notice how Dwyane Wade essentially ‘rides’ LeBron James throughout the course of Heat games, allowing him to pace the action? While Wade takes a backseat to James along the way, everyone knows who the ‘closer’ of that team is going to have to be in order to eventually be successful. What Bryant must realize, for his own benefit and for that of the team, is that feeding the post (Bynum/Pau) on a more consistent basis throughout the game doesn’t mean you are taking a “back seat” to them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

A common method in boxing is: Pound the body, work the mid-section, pound it a bit more, and then go up-top for the knockout shot.  In order to be successful with this Lakers core, that will have to be the formula/method they employ.  Otherwise, Bryant can continue leading the league in scoring, thrill the crowd with a few more game-winners, and continue padding what has already been a legendary career stat-line…but it will end with ‘lost locker rooms’ and losses in the early rounds of the playoffs.  This is your ‘moment of truth’, Mr. Bryant.  What truly motivates you: the glory of winning, or simply having all the ‘glory’ for yourself?  Judging by my Twitter feed (@RealTalkOnSprts), this has been something even his most loyal of supporters have wanted to address for some time, now. You’re welcome.

About The Author

Writer for LakersNation. Proud, loyal, and lifetime supporter of the organization. Host of the Triple Threat Podcast (BlogTalkRadio). Follow @LA_SportsTalk

Number of Entries : 74
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Ney/100002601157110 Matt Ney

    I’m gonna have to say I agree with Ramona on this one… His teammates need to “build” that trust. And the way they are playing, they are not. Becoming passive in the biggest parts of the games, or becoming altogether lazy is not going to build that trust. I have watched all but one game, one in person, this year, and can vouch for that. Watching Gasol stand still, and Bynum take play after play off. You cannot, and will not gain trust, or win for that matter, playing like that. Kobe gets the ball, and most of the time, they all just stand and watch, or gravitate towards the 3 point line. This reminds me of the time right after shaq….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30304119 Frank White

    If kobe was on the floor with ebank’s and goudelock he would not have to force shots. He’s not taking shoots away for the big’s he’s taking the shot’s fisher, barns and world peace wont make 

  • Lakers

    I would totally agree with that if we didn’t get big leads only to blow them when he starts hot dogging. After 16 years and 5 championships he should know when something is working you stick to it. Instead he wants to pad his stats so he starts launching fade aways. That’s why I never thought the Paul trade would work. Kobe wants the ball in his hands. In both the Detroit and Wahington games, He played team ball for two and a half quarters and they got a 14 and 21 point leads. Then he starts launching shots so he can lead the league in scoring and everybody starts standing around and watching him. That effects them on defense as well. When theyre efficient on offense then they play efficiently on defense as well. When the game becomes let’s watch Kobe then they all lose it. In addition, Everybody knows They are a slow team. But they have size. When you pound the ball inside you get short rebounds that can become offensive put back by the bigs. When you’re launching fade away 3 pointers, the rebounds become long and it gives the other team the chance to run you off the court. That’s why they can control the tempo when the go Inside to Bynum and gasol and their lack of speed is manageable. Jumpers do the exact opposite. That was precisely what they did against Miami last week, and it worked to perfection. Which is why I cannot understand how a smart, 5 time champion can’t put his selfish ego aside and just use the formula that will lead him to the 6th title he so covets.

    • Vasp99

      I agree with what you’re saying except that I don’t think Kobe’s ball hogging alone caused them to lose those two games as much as the defense.  They used the “matador” defense as Chick used to say.  The two oponents were making layups after layups. Brown is supposedly a defense oriented coach.  Where was he when the leads were dwindling down?  Couldn’t he make adjustment?  He pulled a Phil Jackson as when he allowed the Mavs to overcome the 16 point lead in last year’s game one before replacing the second unit with the starters.  By that time it was too late.  The momentum had switched.  It was the turning point of the series.  Suddenly the Mavs discovered that they can beat the Lakers.  So did Detroit and DC.

  • kobe bryant

    kobe is the scorer the thing is that  all his shots are right   and the would be if his teammates   have forced the defence to keep their mind on them!!i mean 2 guard and on forward go to kobe and wiith fish and artest and barnes and and and …not scoring..!!!and the main thing is that kobe should stay in tha 30.0 points in a game  in anyway

  • sophia

    Good post.the primary job for  big man is to rebound and defend. Byunum needs to get more points from offensive or diffensive rebound the same as Gasol and not crying the balls. get rebound and put back. Antest he does not rebound the ball he needs to have seven rebound or more every game. If Byunum and Gasol they have  30 rebound total every game the laker will be a tough team to defeat. Rebound Gasol,rebound Byunum rebound Artest. rebound!! rebound!!!! rebound!!! do not ask someone to pass to you, go and get some rebound. Kobe is not a point guard he is a shouting guard. his primary Job is to shout.Fisher needs to shout more he has to be agressive to the rim he knows how to shout three throws and he can do that. rebound guys stop criying be like a man.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_35VTZAUPDSNQBDWE3BSWPO2MMM MR. JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Whether you agree to disagree, like it or not, let me first say this… The NBA, unlike the WNBA is a “MAN’S” game and should be played accordingly… When ladies begin to instruct men (real men) on how to play the game of basketball, I will delegate all my time to the game of baseball… unlike basketball, baseball has its female version which is softball and this is brilliant! …Football? …We don’t need to go there.

    …Basketball does not have a diverse game for the ladies, who are generally softer and gentler than men.  Gentlemen, on the court, were not meant to compete in the game of basketball; they will never flourish across-the-board, never dominate on-the-go, and never lead on a regular-basis, when we’re talking about the real world of NBA competition…

    Second) there is a blue print on how to bring about the demise of these Lakers… Consequently, more than ever before, until these particular Lakers decide to purge their “Gentleness Approach”, their demise is imminent.

    Third) I agree Kobe needs to defer on a few more occasions, like when he has no clear path to the basket and has given up his dribble 20+ feet from the basket… but, if nobody is cutting or creating a passing outlet for him to pass to, consequently, he’s required – under NBA rules – to chuck it up or suffer the end result of a shot clock violation… Some people need to see Kobe get the ball to these 7 footers, get the hello outta the way, and let them work… These people need to see Gasol and Bynum get a minimum of 20 plus shots each with people guarding them…  I am sure some will be rejoicing, but if this were ever the case with these Lakers, I will no doubt be reiterating; Read em & weep, ladies

  • http://coachdesignz.wordpress.com/ coachD

    We still believe! Lakers will win it all this year. 6th Kobe ring is inevitable!

  • Felderse1

    Kobe is the best,enough said.Ask the Celtics fans about today’s game on TV.

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