Kobe Bryant is the league’s leading scorer at 26.7 points per game. He averages 6.1 more shots and uses a 4.5 greater percentage of possessions than any player in basketball. Bryant is also shooting a putrid 38.1 percent from the field, his team plays more efficient offense when he’s on the bench, and the Los Angeles Lakers are 3-11. Might the purple-and-gold be relying on their 36 year-old legend a bit too much, then? “Not really,” says coach Byron Scott.
Bryant’s current usage rate is just behind his record-breaking number set in 2005-2006. If his current numbers hold, he’ll join Allen Iverson and Joe Fulks as the only players in league history to average at least 25 points per game while shooting below 38 percent from the field.
Basically, the Lakers are losing and Kobe is shooting at a historically inaccurate pace. Time for change? Not really.
But what is Scott to do when the player in question takes this approach to a potentially game-winning shot?
Related: The Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in overtime.
You’re not 30 years-old anymore, Kobe, let alone 25. Just because something “worked” a decade ago doesn’t mean it will now. Times change, basketball does, and players do, too.
Los Angeles would be far better off if Bryant realized it. The problem is that Scott apparently hasn’t, either.
What do you think?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.