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Ted Green: Lakers play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant

Pau Since no one else will say it, not even the basketball higher power himself, Phil Jackson, I'll say it for them:

The Lakers apparently play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant.

I know, it seems like the ultimate second guess, hindsight being 20-20, but I'll tell you why it isn't.

Writing this after the surprising, streak-busting win in Portland, that would have been purely impulsive. Writing it after they followed it with a resounding home win over the Spurs, that would have been reactionary. But writing it after three straight wins over playoff teams, two of those wins on the road, by margins of 15, 14 and 15 points, it’s now simply a reasoned response.

In other words, a funny thing happened to Bryant while sitting with his swollen ankle propped up in Gary Vitti's various training rooms.  

The Lakers superstar discovered that his guys are a whole lot better, and more cohesive and together and on the same page, than they are when he, Kobe, is dribbling out the clock, holding the ball and trying to beat three guys off the dribble while hoisting up 20 to 35 shots a game.

And let's face it, some of those shots, the 25-foot corkscrew fade-aways with the 24 winding down, they seem to be at least partially intended either for Kobe's own amusement, the game within the game where he tries to outdo even himself, entertain the crowd and TV guys, or enhance his rep as the craziest shot-maker in captivity. Or maybe it's that whole enchilada.

I say these last three games have been so revealing, they should serve as a full-on wake-up call to the great Bryant himself.

Your teammates sent you a message, Kobe, and it couldn't be any louder or more clear. Are you listening? Are you mature enough to learn from it, or is actually being Bryant the bigger priority?

I mean, even if you've got a full-on bromance going with 24, if you're, like me, the biggest Kobe fan in the whole wide world, ask yourself honestly: When this season have the Lakers played three prettier, more dominating games against quality opponents than these last three?

Answer: They haven't.

Just think: How good could they be if Kobe fit in with THEM instead of demanding that they fit in with HIM?

No, I'm not saying they're a better team without Kobe, certainly not over the long haul and definitely not in tough playoff series against, say, Denver and then Cleveland. And, no, I'm not suggesting they trade him for Dwyane Wade, who's got the same annoying penchant for I'm-the-Showitis as Kobe does.  

I'm saying that if Kobe is the keen student of the game he claims to be, he should at least be considering that some or all of the following conclusions might be valid:

1.  It's now up to him to figure out how HE can best intersperse his offense into this perfectly symmetrical Triangle they're playing, rather than the other way around.

2. The Lakers would be at their penultimate best if Kobe averaged 18 points a game instead of having that compulsive need to average 28.  Dispensing those 10 points among his teammates would mean, by definition, a better brand of team ball.  (And if you don't believe me, check the stats during the Magic Showtime era.)

3. Although it has been incredibly entertaining for years, the Black Mamba act, seen in a different context now, seems a bit more like Kevin McHale's old Black Hole. Throw the ball to Kobe and never see it again.

4. And why, in the last four minutes of every single close Laker game, must Kobe seemingly take 80% of the shots in crunch time? Or is it 90%? Is it written sacredly on a wall or tablet somewhere in ancient Egypt? Trust somebody else now and then, Kob, you might be pleasantly surprised. 

Like you were, say, these last five days?

Kobe, did you see Lamar's comment after he scored 25 in Utah? "I'm decent." How dripping with pathos was THAT remark? Lamar in effect saying: I know the press is fixated on Kobe, but me and the other Lakers, we aren't chopped liver, either.

Indeed, this is what Laker fans should want to see from Kobe when he rejoins the lineup after the All-Star game:

Don't just throw the ball into the post to appease Pau Gasol and (less frequently) Andrew Bynum; don't just throw the two Big Dogs a bone; initiate the offense through them, the way the team is doing now.  

What I would say to Kobe if I had his ear and trust is this: Dude, we already KNOW you're great. We KNOW you can get 40 almost whenever you want. Fifty or 60 even. But even if you stay around long enough to pass Kareem and score more than anyone ever, even if they build a statue for you next to Magic’s in front of Staples, that's STILL not you're legacy, how you're going to be judged by history.

You're going to be judged by championships, four of which you have already.

Five and you tie Magic.

Six, you tie Jordan and you're right in the conversation as the greatest player ever.

Seven, you might BE the conversation.

So stop Mamba'ing so much. Let the other guys work. Let them get their touches and points too. It'll preserve your body so you don't have to spend so much time in the training room.  

You'll have to pass the torch to LeBron James and it'll hurt for a minute or three, but I'm pretty sure letting the old Kobe go and reinventing a new, more efficient model is the best and fastest way to reaching the magic title number.

So here it is, finally, in a nutshell. You can ease off on being 24 now, and focus on that other, far more important number:

Seven.

-- Ted Green

Green formerly covered the Lakers for the L.A. Times. He is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: Pau Gasol works his way past Utah's Andrei Kirilenko during the Lakers' 96-81 victory over the Jazz on Wednesday. Credit: Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press

 
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SHERRIF!!!!! Glad to see you - been awhile... Hope all is well man.

Oh - and regarding your response to whoever this "Ted" guy is - just 1 word - SNAP!!!


"Ted" - just who do you think you are???? Get back under your rock - troll. As the Sherrif so aptly put it "THIS IS MAMBA COUNTRY YO". How dare you??? And on the award winning LA Times Lakers Blog???? You are obviously new to basketball, cuz the crap you just threw down should be flushed down. And you along with it.


And Stanley Woods - couldn't agree more with you either. EXCELLENT posts, sir.

Didn't mean to forget you Hobbit - excellent.

Here is an interesting idea to BOTH camps, the Kobe camp and the anti-Kobe camp:

Maybe you should lay the blame on where it should REALLY be?

That is, there's a guy being paid $10+ Mil/yr. to ensure the chemistry of the team. Isn't that part of the job of coach: to mediate and balance out between the superstars and their supporting cast. If some of you think Kobe is a ball hog and shoot too much then why isn't coach doing something about it? it is perfectly within his power to bench the superstar to get his message across right? OTH if some of you think the supporting cast is moping and do not hustle enough because they are resentful of the superstars then shouldn't coach do something about it too?

Remember how the previous dynasty broke up prematurely in no small part because of friction between Shaq and Kobe? guess who did NOT do a good job there?

So much for being hailed as some sort of "legendary" coach!

The plain old truth is that Phil Jackson's true secret to success is simply this: coddling his superstars be it Jordan, Shaq or Kobe so as to wring out the best from them at the expense of the supporting cast and of team chemistry. CASE IN POINT: if Jackson had been much more serious and sterner in insisting Shaq be in shape and play defense then maybe Kobe wouldn't have rebelded so much against then-number 1 option. ANOTHER case in point: anybody ever noticed that player such as Farmar, Sasha... has much, much shorter leash on him than Kobe, Pau, Lamar... While some people might say that the Triangle is an opportunity offense, the class/caste treatment of players is anything but.

I knew - I KNEW - it was only a matter of time before an article like this popped up in the LA Times. The Lakers win 3 games without Kobe & all of a sudden, they play better without me?

Are you flippin serious? The only logical answer is: No, you're not serious, you're just trying to make a splash with an outrageous article. This is the state of sports journalism in America. Ridiculous.

Since Kobe came to LA in the late 90's, without him in the lineup - the Lakers are something like 10-25 when he's not in the lineup. TEN & TWENTY-FIVE.

With Kobe in the lineup, the Lakers played in SIX out of last 10 NBA Finals, and have won FOUR rings.

But I'm sure you're right, the Lakers play better without him.

Next.

Whoever stole the Birdman's hair product, obviously also got AK 47s.
Posted by: Mark G

ROTFLMAO!!!! Good one Mark G!!!

Who the hell are all you people? Where did you come from? Disciples, friends, and relatives of Ted Green? Or does Ted have 87 email addresses?
Posted by: Rick Friedman

THANK YOU. Sheesh - where is all this woodwork that these morons are crawling out of??? It's really infested. Anyone got the number to the extermintor?????

jimjoyce,

I think it depends on what your definition of "doing" is...I didn't conflate "doing" with "heroism", you did!

Your comment seems rather confused. You start off by implying that Kobe shouldn't have to do anything and then you proceed to describe what he needs to do. Being an "Everyman" is doing something isn't it? You seem to have a problem distinguishing something from nothing.

Sorry if I sound abrasive but I just don't see your point, or at least I don't understand how the statement in one of my previous posts that you choose to call out and pick on has any relevance to whatever point it is that you are trying to make. Seems to me that your just trying to be argumentative and that your real beef is that you just think Kobe needs to do different things than I think he should.

l8kerboi23:

"just watch what that guy over on the Cavs has been doing..."

- Why did you take a break from smooching his behind to talk crap?? I think you're better at that than anything else.

That guy in Cavs, the "great team player" scored 24 consecutive points for his team. "TWENTY FOUR"?? Where was "involving the team mates" there during all those possessions??

Your "guy in Cavs" was playing in absolute garbage time -with the team up by 20+, so that he can get the rebound needed to get a triple-double!! So, that is unselfish, no-stats team basketball for you?? Ask if Mike Brown has the b*ls to seat your Cavs' guy on the bench without him getting a triple double, when there is a chance.

Didn't I see your Cavs' guy's game last season in NY, when he hustled the ball out of Ben Wallace (his team-mate), so that he can get the triple-double??

Go away, go and put your mouth in your boy's behind, he is awaiting you!!

All you people talking about assists and how Kobe doesn't have any fail to understand the most basic thing--YOU CAN'T GET AN ASSIST IF THE PERSON YOU PASS TO MISSES THE FREAKIN' SHOT!!! Kobe can pass all day long and as long as the shots miss, he gets no assist. Joel and Stu harp on it all the time: "Well, Kobe won't get an assist on the Jordan miss" or "Shannon just robbed Kobe of an assist." Hell, it happens all the time so Kobe isn't the problem. Assists are a crap statistic to assign to an individual because it takes two people, just like the tango. LeBron James gets more assists because his teammates make more shots off his passes. That doesn't mean he passes more, otherwise he wouldn't be getting 43 points a couple of times a week. Get a clue, people.

And I want to marry Mr. Woods.

YO, EVERYBODY...

Stop for a second and chew on this thought:

Whether or not Kobe is a selfish ball hog and/or shoot too much has NOTHING to do with the DEFENSE, OK?

Kobe can be a terrible passer or facilitator or whatever on OFFENSE but why should that stop the whole team from HUSTLING and playing HARD on DEFENSE?

The Lakers would have been hard-pressed to win no matter what Kobe did if they keep giving up 126 points to Denver on their home court no less, OK?

Starting with the coach on down, it seems like all is ever talked about is how smooth the offense is ran or how the ball movement is, yada, yada... which invariably led to Kobe. Why not focus instead of playing consistently solid aggressive tough defense?

Did anybody ever hear that Defense Wins Championships?

Here's a clue: Play terrific defense (which the Lakers seemed capable of) all the time and the team will win regardless of whether or not Kobe has a good game or for that matter how the triangle looks against that particular opponent.


There are 3 types of fans currently on the blog.

1st group . Fans that admire Kobes game and dont have a problem with him taking high volume shots. with game winning buzzer beaters.

2nd group. Fans that admire Kobes game, but prefere he play within the system and blow teams away.

3rd group. Kobe Haters!!!!!

Will the 3rd group Please EXIT the door!!!

spot on big a,rick friedman, i lmao about...7 an hour but it's so true, also where was gasol bynum an odom when sg kobe was grabbing 18boards...at Bd yea I like that kobe at pg but he is a sg yet some want him to be magic but I feel fisher is slow an tho he has made some remarkable shots at times his % been real bad expecially when he attempts layups most of the time ..luke an sasha also have that prob along with lo and the occassional offensive foul,artest at times looks clumbsy also...well don't let me start on bynum lol..all this is to say yes people forget all these guys make millions...an kobe may go down shooting but I always say he's the only one I feel earns his paper pound for pound nunlike T-mac an otheres...an don't forget 24 isn't even the highest paid in the league...wow yet some say he should take a paycut...does Ab work hard for his 12mil night in night out??? or like someone said luke and his 99 year contract(classic)

Ted, you're lame. And you're bad at statistical analysis. See you guys at the espn lakers blog.

"No one else will say it?" Inane and inaccurate.

Green...you're like a poker player that after flopping a few straights and flushes with QJ suited, decides that it's a stronger starting hand than pocket Aces.

In other words, I'd like to gamble with you.

I am happy to admit that Odom, Farmar and Sasha have played the best ball I've ever seen from them in the last 3 games. (I'm particularly pleased that Sasha appears to showing signs of life and new bball maturity. I hope he can keep it up.).

That has nothing to do with Kobe. Had those guys played as well when Kobe wasn't injured, we'd probably have a few more Ws - I daresay Kobe may have been less injured!~

As others have pointed out, the Lakers (with and without Kobe) have yet to really prove that they are equipped to handle a team with a big front court that is willing to bang.

Does anybody think we would have beat Denver a few nights ago if kobe hadn't been playing? What about Cleveland, or the Celtics for that matter?

Don't forget that one key factor in the Lakers play has also been more Lamar and less Bynum. Lamar and Pau play great together. so although I get your point about Kobe just remember it ain't just Kobe missing in action these last three games.

btw, I seem to remember a time this year when the Lakers played the Jazz pretty tough w/ Kobe. does 6 points in the fourth quarter ring a bell?

At an absolute minimum, we already know that we can't derive much from this last game or portland (sans Roy) or the spurs.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/12/lakers-vs-jazz-bryant-suits-up-for-game.html

@ dwntwn atty, sure we can derive something from the last 3 games. Without Kobe, the Lakers are still a fairly talented team that can win some solid games. Some people had claimed that without Kobe, the Lakers couldn't win any games. Portland was w/o Roy but so what? They didn't have Roy the last time we lost in Portland.
Does all this mean the Lakers can win a ring without Kobe, no. The Lakers can't even go to the finals without Kobe. But the Kobe-less Lakers are not a bunch of stiffs. Even with Kobe, the last 3 wins would have been cosidered solid.

Congratulations to Derek Fisher on playing in his 1000th game. He stunk in 996 of them....what a huge achievement !!

Posted by: DFish | February 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM


Honestly, how short is your memory? Since you're making an empirical claim, either

a) Name the 996 games in which he stunk, or
b) the only 4 games in which he didn't stink.

Make sure you define what you mean by "stunk", so I am clear as to what you're trying to say.

Caliphilosopher:

Look at the picture and see who is guarding Pau.......

Posted by: PAUSOFT | February 11, 2010 at 01:26 PM


Pau"Soft":

Look at a picture from the 2009 finals and watch who was trying to guard Pau, and who Pau was guarding. One picture doesn't make the case for someone being soft. You must not know about defensive rotations.

This will alleviate the pressure in your brain caused by too many Drew blood cells and help you think clearly

Posted by: CLUELESS | February 11, 2010 at 01:52 PM


What exactly is a "Drew Blood Cell"? I thought that there were white and red blood cells (generally speaking). Would you care to explain?

PAUSOFT:

I have a thick skull? That's odd, phrenology has been out of style for at least a hundred years.

It's nice to know that you're stalking me. It's still pretty funny that Pau passed the test when it mattered - the 2009 championship.

Pau is actually a PF who happens to play a bit of the C position.

Your insults are petty; try bringing an argument of your own next time.

have a good evening!

Mark G: I agree with those points. We had confirmed for us that the Lakers w/out Kobe and Bynum can play well and win against semi-elite teams. I've believed all along that sans Kobe/Bynum the lakers still had at least playoff level talent, so I didn't need any convincing on that point.

I think the legitimate question to all Laker fans is:

What needs to happen when Kobe comes back that will allow the Lakers not named Kobe to play as well as they did in the last three games.

People like Green and the woodwork people think that Kobe needs to change and play more within the system.

Others think that the other Lakers need to simply adopt the same aggressive mentality they have had when Kobe is gone.

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle - actually I think it is about 70/30 favoring the latter group of thinkers. Other players such as Odom must continue to take ownership.

Justa -

Thank you for putting that out there. Where exactly ARE all these trolls coming from?

Strange.

your right. lakers play team basketball better without bryant...BUT the lakers aint gonna win the championship WITHOUT Bryant.

Caliphilosopher,

DFish is a troll and an idiot.

He is NOT a Lakers fan. He refers to the Lakers as "the Fakers."

Starve the Troll.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Time to inject some sanity into this argument:

1. The Lakers HAVE BEEN playing better team ball without Kobe and Andrew Bynum.

2. The Lakers COULD play better team ball with Kobe and Andrew Bynum.

3. IF the Lakers play better team ball (as they have the last three games) with Kobe and Andrew Bynum on the court, they are utterly unstoppable. Utterly unstoppable.

So, instead of people calling for trading Kobe and screaming like little fricken stupid spoiled children, we should look with optimism at the possibility that Lakers may continue to play this well BUT WITH A HUGE INJECTION OF HEALTHY TALENT.

Imagine that... because it is a very real possibility.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

WITHOUT KOBE!
1- LAKERS WILL WIN FEW TOUGH GAMES WITHOUT KOBE.
2- LAKERS PLAY TEAM BASKETBALL BETTER WITHOUT KOBE.
3- LAKERS IS NOT! GONNA WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT KOBE.

dwntwn atty, I wouldn't really disagree with that. I would probably put more on Kobe than on the team, but really, it comes down to fairly subjective call.
It's kind of surprising the vitriolic nature of the debate, not your post, just the posts in general. The two camps really aren't that far apart. What Green wrote wasn't that different from what a lot of posters have been commenting for days. Green just wasn't very diplomatic about it.

Jon K. -

I will starve the trolls. I just like to roast them every now and then.

I really miss some of the people on this blog from a few years ago, when I was just a newbie posting here.

I guess the fact that this blog attracts so many haters means that it's relevant, but I sure don't like the race to the bottom that seems to be going on here...

Trade Sheshe Vujacic for Candice Parker

2. The Lakers would be at their penultimate best if Kobe averaged 18 points a game instead of having that compulsive need to average 28. Dispensing those 10 points among his teammates would mean, by definition, a better brand of team ball. (And if you don't believe me, check the stats during the Magic Showtime era.)


ummm...Mr. Green....penultimate means next to last or one above the worst...and "penultimate best" is an oxymoron. Not saying I do not understand the intent of your commentary, and I agree they would be better if the KoBaby was more of a team guy, but this is not anything new, it has been said of him his entire career.

Mr. Green, that's a good article but you're missing one crucial point. You see, a Laker team without Bryant & Bynum is going to seem like an easy win to opponents who otherwise get pumped up for Bryant, and/or Bynum. You saw Utah only turn it on in the fourth quarter, and they easily kept pace with us.

What you also forget is these teams are so use to playing a Kobe-centric team, their isn't a lot of scouting info on how to stop this version. Let Kobe sit out another 20 games and it will become evident how other teams caught up to this non-kobe version, and how much he means to their success. Great article, but a little too obvious ....i mean, do you really think Jerry West, Mitch, and Buss would pay the man if this were true? Leverage the team?

Look, even the 49ers played well in the 80s when Joe Montanna was hurt for a few games, but it caught up to them .... likewise the Bulls in the Jordan mini-retirment era .... this is no different, its neato right now, but just you wait until the competition has adjusted.... we're fighting for the 8th spot in the West.

If Kobe wisely decides to play the role of an efficient facilitator, not only his team will win more championships and he will be more healthy to play longer in the NBA, and therefore has a better chance to break more records (championship, scoring, etc...) It is a win-win situation for everyone.

@Zaira - Lady, this post( Ted Green's , not this comment of mine) might seem frustrating to you because you are just misconstruing things as you have been for a while.Hardly anyone here, including Mr Ted Green, is anti-Kobe. Quite the contrary actually. Most people here who have been following the Lakers for a while are cognizant of his value and amazing skills. He is one of the all time greats and has a very high basketball IQ. No one is arguing with that. Despite all the things he brings to the Laker team as an individual, which includes the ability to be a great facilitator/decoy, Kobe doesn't often enough regresses into playing in a way that inhibits teamwork. No one needs to READ HIS MIND to be able to tell that. Please just go back to some posts here from last year -
http://my.lakers.com/blogs/ - look at the comments from PJ and some others on the coaching staff. They know what they are talking about. They don't attack Kobe at all but only acknowledge the inveterate tendencies of his that are detrimental to the Laker's way of playing a balanced team-game.As much as you might want to believe and be hurt by it, no one has an agenda against Kobe.He helped the team win 4 championships and we love him for that.
I know that despite his thirst for championships and unmatched commitment, he is only human and must have his flaws like everyone else but this flaw of his has persisted for quite a long time.The other players on the team have always had the skills they are displaying in Kobe's absence.They haven't suddenly acquired the will to win which mysteriously disappears when Kobe is around. People just need opportunities and not the will of one person alone imposed on the whole team's offense, no matter how great he is. No one likes to just "sit back and watch" and sing another player's praises all the time. These are NBA players who have made it to that level for a reason. So the tired old reason of "they just don't match his intensity/desire to win" isn't completely false but it doesn't make sense all the time.It sure doesn't explain why so many players are suddenly finding their groove ,playing well and having fun while they are at it.
Kobe does try to motivate his team-mates and gets them involved at times but he has to be willing to let them have get the opportunities they need to flourish on a regular basis.Let some of them take more shots than him at times and have big nights,if need be.They might fail but so does Kobe. They might not be able to match his intensity simply because he is special but they should be able to live upto their potential.That doesn't happen often when Kobe is around.
Players like Duncan do that quite often.Taking fewer than 10 shots quite often and letting some others have 20 or more they are going great.This despite the fact that their skill level and commitment is seldom matched by their team mates. One player doesn't have the right to assume that his own desire to win is greater than that of others.It is a team game and a win or a loss belongs to the team as a whole.You can regularly say that Farmar and some others lack motivation or are lethargic but the truth could be closer to the fact that they just don't get the chances they need with Kobe dictating the way offense is run.This might be the ONLY FLAW Kobe has but it has been frustrating to his coaches and some team mates too. PJ talked and wrote about this when he left the team for the first time. Do you think he doesn't understand the triangle either ????
I know that the team owes a lot to Kobe and he does so many things that are special or downright unbelievable.It is just that...this team could be so much better if Kobe is just willing to take a backseat more often, share the ball more and let others have standout performances. Your suggestion that so many people who have pointed this out "just don't get it" doesn't make a whole lot of sense.It is not just the fans who say this but long time coaches and team mates too.They don't hate Kobe.They are just pointing out a simple fact.No mind reading is necessary for that.
Finally,and I say this with respect, please try and see that you might be missing something here. You might be right in saying that there is something the so called "anti-Kobe" fans don't understand but the same might be true of you too.Perhaps too you are human like the rest of us and are mistaken in your belief like all of us are at sometime or the others :)
Amit

This is a total bait article begging for attention.

As soon as I read the line, "don't get me wrong I am the biggest Kobe fan in the world" I disregarded the article. Sorry but just because you said it doesn't make things all well and good.

Tome Green is absolutely and right on correct. The Lakers are playing great team basketball. The last three games have been something to watch. I have seen the Lakers play when Kobe is around and he is a control freak. All the offense is through him. He does not play defense and leaves him man open all the time. Which means he is scored upon all the time. Sure KOBE is a great player and the Lakers need him but he should take a good look at the films of the last three games and see what a great group of teammates he has. I believe that Bynum should be placed on the trade block because of his inability to play well or sent to the D-league for 2 or 3 years to develop some basketball mentality and skills. Go Lakers !!

It's amazing how Kobe, when he plays, stops Gasol from getting all those blocks and rebounds. Terrible how he limits Odoms rebounds and turns him into a windmill on defense. That stingy ol kobe! How dare he lead his team in assists! Fortunately, his team keeps passing up shots when he is the game or he would have twice the number of assists and boy oh boy would that ego grow! That selfish 4 time champion! He sure needs to improve his game!

Ted Green's article certainly amplified what we Lakers fans have seen in the past 3 games. We want this brand of basketball games. We want teamwork above anything else. Of course, it would be much better if both Kobe and Bynum can be part of this "team" basketball that this "new" Lakers team have showed.
We are one team and we should go one way. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't blame Kobe for it. Blame the rest of the guys not having guts. You are naive and speaking too soon. 3 games mean nothing. You got players under pressure will freeze. Why write an article now. Why did you not say , heh, guys stop being children, take charge of your game. Blame, Blame, blame. You haven't said anything new.

FINALLY someone in the media says it. Kudos to you Mr. Green. Everything point is spot on.

By the way Ted, why are these guys lazy and lack guts. Why blame game? You are not helping. You needed to write an article telling these guys who are winning to have some guts. You are no different then what we have heard for a long time.

I could no longer emphasize the importance of teamwork. Well written Mr. Ted Green. Kobe, please read. Go Lakers

Lakers = Teamwork
Lakers + Teamwork > Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Bynum, and rest of Lakers team.
Lakers + Teamwork = Championships!!!!!!!!!

The above analogy simply explains why we like teamwork.

You're a professional writer who doesn't know what penultimate means? Where is your editor?

Much of the comments made in this article are right on the $. However, the Lakers defense and not so much the flow of their offense has more to do wth their winning as opposed to the triangle offense.

The Lakers defense has been swarming and players are jumping the passing lanes, while remaining strong inside. In fact, Gasol has 10 blocks in two games. Therefore, I would say defense has equal claim to Lakers recent success, if not more.

With that being said, I do agree with some of the comments that the recent energy the Lakers are playing with could be useful when Kobe is playing. Far too often, Kobe's teammates do not put forth the proper effort to be successful and their lathargic play at times is annoying.

By-in-large, whether Kobe shoots too much or his team doesnt play as hard when Kobe is available, Kobe will only be measured now by 1 thing, championships. So, if Kobe has to shoot less and distribute the rock, or needs to shoot more because others choke, then he has to do what it takes to win SEVEN. Nothing else matters!

Kobe often regresses into playing in a way that inhibits teamwork *
Sorry for the mistake

Ted

Seriously are you on drugs dude?are you in your correct mind to say that KOBE the greatest player of all time doesn't know how to incorporate himself with his team mate?The truth is KOBE is not the problem in this team its his supporting cast,they been paid millions to play like what they did in the last three games now we know what this supporting cast can do so the next game with KOBE and Drew in the line-up they dont have any excuse if they play abysmal again.Thats why their playing here as a Lakers to support KOBE to build dynasty for years to come.their not paid millions just to watch KOBE,they should assert themselve as well specially in defense and rebounding.Im surprise theirs a lot of troll posting in this blog now and their bashing KOBE.I feel sorry for you guys please go back to your own blog and support your own team,we dont need your nonsense comment here,specially you TED,shut up please!!!

Stanley Woods I commend you. You said everything there is to say flawlessly.

Ted Woods you are ridiculous and it's a shame that Kobe Bryant will never know the true fans he has because of bloggers like you. It's only when this great player has left that people will begin to appreciate what was right in front of our eyes and by than it's going to be too late.

This fool may not recognize you Kobe, but you do have those who understand what greatness is when they are watching it.

Absolute non story. Because of the last 3 wins now the Lakers are playing team ball and this is an indication that Kobe is not a team player how? Where was this team ball in the finals against Boston 2 years ago? If these new look Lakers sans Kobe play this way for the rest of the season and through out the playoffs then we maybe can have a conversation about Kobe needing to cut back. But until then this is a non story.

Don't worry Ted. All the folks who will want to hate on you and call you a Kobe hater simply do not get, and will likely never get, the concept of team basketball. It's apparent that this year's Lakers team could have been one of the best of all time, but we chose some very bad team habits instead. That's not all on Kobe by any means! Oh well-- as long as they get it together before playoffs time they will still be alright. Thanks for a great article about playing the game the right way! Hopefully Kobe did get the message. If he did, he will come back and make this team even better.

Peace !!

Give a ball exclusively for Kobe... and give other one ball to the team.

Kobe is the best world player.

Rest of Laker's team are only decoration in this blog.

Be Happy !!

Ex,
"The actual amounts don't really matter - what matters is that Kobe is the key to making it work like it is supposed to work. "

Funyy how you're arguing for teamwork yet 1 man is the key to it all. If Gasol has a bad game, let's not ask him to demand the ball more. Let's not ask him to be more physical in the post. Oh no, let's go to the Key and ask him to solve the Gasol problem.

WTF, respect your finals mvp playing with broken fingers and all, while the rest of his team is sitting out with harmstrings and their coach making smart comments about how he isn't sure it's a genuine injury. Respect your leader instead of looking for an excuse to hate. Bet you thought Shaq was in the right back in the day, but you salivate when Lebron gets to run his own team and take w/e shot he likes. He takes better shots you claim?

Fine go become a cavs fan, enjoy the purple and gold flavor Shaq adds to their team, then sit back and relax as one hand, one leg mamba takes them down. Our dynasty is here but it won't be easy to sustain. I rest easy knowing there's one man out there that will do w/e it takes to win. When his boys step up his shot count will go down, but even if they don't show he won't go oh team sport guess we should all suck. Nah if he's gotta jack up 90 shots then so be it, but so long as numer 24 plays for LA. You will never doubt that we're going for the win and that theirs at least 1 dude out there working his but off

jimjoyce,
[This doesn't involve any "doing" on his part. It doesn't involve any "heroism." It just means being Everyman---EveryLakerMan, that is.]

Really jim? This is the garbage that you're calling basketball knowledge. The team leading the western conference prior to its star player going down should now get it's star player to play more like jordan farmar, derick fisher and sasha vujacic? Really? wow, pat yourself on the back for such wonderful insight, this must be the best freaking 3 game streak ever. What happens if they win 10 in a row? Trade kobe?

Ted Baby:
Are you reading my EMails?

11-Feb-10 08:39 am
Will Kobe play nice and try to fit in? Lakers need less Kobe
and more triangle.
Phil can now play Kobe less, say 30 mins a game.
Also, maybe Bynum needs to come off of the bench and be
a sub for Gasol, allowing Gasol to and all others to play 30 mins
or less for the rest of the season.
This three game streak against top three teams should be an eye opener for Phil and Kobe.
Will Kobe take his blinders off?
Black Mamba? Or, Black Hole?
senseofwhereweare

Hello, How did we get the record we have? who helped the team? memory gets lost when you get older.l

@Raj - Good point man

Ted, the reality is people spend their money to see Kobe do his thing, and hope they can witness him scoring 60 points. You think they pay for those expensive tickets to see Lamar & Pau executing the Triangle offense??? Reality Check!!!

Segeboy,
You need more roughage in your diet.

Mike,
"Ted, the reality is people spend their money to see Kobe do his thing, and hope they can witness him scoring 60 points. You think they pay for those expensive tickets to see Lamar & Pau executing the Triangle offense??? Reality Check!!!"

That certainly can be part of the problem. Entertaining the fans doesn't always mesh with playing the best basketball.

Ted,

It's sooooo good to here someone say that about Koby. I get so tired of seeing Koby get the ball and watch everyone else just stand around waiting for Koby to throw up some unmakeable shot (which he usually makes). It was REALLY fun watching the Lakers play these last three games.

Late comment, but no question that the "other guy" Lakers up their game (or games individually) when Kobe isn't in the lineup. The remaining team happens to be well-suited to the triangle and, so far, results have been good. However, the following factors must be taken into account: one, three games are a far cry from the rest of the season and there is no reason to believe that the Lakers without Kobe can be consistent over 20 or 30 games or can maintain that level of play during the more intense playoffs; two, each team in the NBA offers a different match-up situation and the three teams the Lakers beat without Kobe are not necessarily representative of all NBA teams; three, the teams facing the Lakers without Kobe (so far) each probably expected to see Kobe and may have lost some of their edge when he wasn't on the court (especially the Spurs).

Having said that, if the Lakers can add Kobe back into the line-up and play the triangle the way they are playing it now, Kobe could still get his points because he would probably get a lot more open looks (of course Kobe would have to stop or limit his tendency to play one-on-one whenever he gets the opportunity). If, if, if this version of the Lakers could come together after the All Star break, the Lakers would be an irresistible force on offense. If they were also able to maintain the intensity they have showed in those games on defense, they would become an immovable object. Put the two together and you have a super team that is head and shoulders better than the best of the rest. Without those factors, the Lakers could fall back into the "Kobe and four other guys" team that tends to show up pretty often during the season with some bad habits that can carry into the playoffs. What we saw last week was a flash of the the greatness that the Lakers could exhibit with Bryant (and Bynum) back in the lineup.

I agree with dwntwn atty about the two sides of thinking. After reading about 100 posts, the trend seems to be:

A) It's gotta be Kobe's fault.
B) It's his teammates.

Very few are seeing that:

C) It's a combination of the two
D) Neither A, B, or C.

In the D category, only a few have brought up other factors such as the coach's leadership, psychology, group dynamics as a whole, fatigue, lack of motivation, time of the year, diet, something else, and other factors. The D category includes, no Bynum, more LO, the "opening" for others to prove themselves...

My opinion is that it's the nature of all teams to re-calibrate when the central power (Kobe) leaves. What's very interesting is that Kobe has all day to get treatment on his ankle, there's only so much one can get per day, and he chooses to not witness this new team. Is it hard for him to witness the team without him? If so, why?

get off kobe. he is getting paid and you guys are not.

Caliphilosopher,

"I guess the fact that this blog attracts so many haters means that it's relevant, but I sure don't like the race to the bottom that seems to be going on here..."

If you remember the historic arc of the blog, there is an infestation each and every season. It happens. We just have to deal with it and not throw up our hands to the sky in anguish and scream, "WHY? WHY?!?!?!? NOT AGAIN!!!!"

Let's just deal with it and remember that haters have no heart. They don't last.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Doc Pappy,

"After reading about 100 posts, the trend seems to be:

A) It's gotta be Kobe's fault.
B) It's his teammates."

Because too many people nowadays fall easily into simplistic "either/or" thinking.

Whenever a question is broken down into "this" or "that", the correct answer is "neither" and "both" simultaneously.

Everyone should receive some blame for the previous lack of teamwork and everyone should receive credit for the present improvement in teamwork, as will Kobe and Andrew once they integrate themselves into the system and this team becomes an unstoppable juggurnaut.

Listen, man, I've been here since the beginning of this blog and I've been told I'm wrong and an idiot possibly thousands of times. Well, guess, what years later I have been proven right over and over and over and over again.

I get this team.

These last three games should be cause for great optimism, not whiney, screaming childish chicken little blame games.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

The bottom line Ted Green....

The players are paid to play at their best even with or without Kobe not just when Kobe's out.

You are only referring to only 3 games. Why don't you write your comment down when they've achived 6 - 0. You do really are quick on the trigger when Kobe's on negative side here. It just shows your biase. Period.

Jon K,

I like your reminder that positive motivation works better than the blame game. Maybe people complain because they have frustration with Kobe, or their projecting their own onto him?

I hope you're right about this being the start for a juggernaut. Can the old dogs learn new tricks? Can a fish be a fowl?

@ladyJem24

You bring up a great point about other teams designing their plays for Kobe, and therefore being a bit lost when Kobe is out. However, think this - how much better it would be if we routinely confused other teams by NOT having Kobe dominate the offense....they would be a tough spot because they would now have to design plays for all 5 players, not just 24.

Ted Green your are 100% correct!
I am a big Kobe fan and a Laker fan. Kobe needs to adjust his game to play with his teammates, not the other way around. We (Lakers) cannot win games having Kobe try to be heroic and shoot hail marys while his teammates stand around and watch. This is a team sport and the ball needs to go to the post (Pau & Bynum) first in order for the Lakers to win. Kobe.. I hope your are reading this. Wake up! Your legacy will be judge on how many championships you win.. not by your stats.


STANLEY WOODS said "What an absolutely pathetic blog post"
And I agree 100%, the win against the Jazz was a fine win, the wins against Portland and Spurs were ... well wins that this Lakers team should have won. While I'm glad for our Team, I'm not about to get caught up in the hype of the Lakers without Kobe.


Go ahead, tell me, where would the Lakers be without Kobe?
Would we be the reigning champions? NOT!


Ted Green, it's one thing to be considered a nincompoop; it is quite another to actually open your mouth or put something in writing and prove it.


Let's take it from the top.
Ted Green says
"1. it’s now up to him to figure out how HE can best intersperse his offense into this perfectly symmetrical Triangle they're playing, rather than the other way around."


I say:
Kobe and Derek have mastered and have been playing the Triangle for 12 years. How quickly we forget the lean years; who has carried this team for a decade even when Shaq was here? Ted forgets that Shaq, Pau & Bynum play dependant positions; someone has to go get them the ball.
Ted is also the first one to criticize Odom for disappearing so often. Where was Pau & Odom against Shaq & Anderson Varajo? Thank you Stan Woods!!!


Ted Green says:
"2. The Lakers would be at their penultimate best if Kobe averaged 18 points a game instead of having that compulsive need to average 28..."


I say: Idiot! Penultimate means second to LAST place. If you are going to use big words, at least know the meaning.
Or are you saying, and saying correctly that the Lakers would be in next to last place without Kobe? Idiot!


Ted Green says a bunch of other stuff that is either supremely naive or totally disingenuous.


Ted Green says:
3 "...Throw the ball to Kobe and never see it again."
4. And why, in the last four minutes of every single close Lakers game, must Kobe seemingly take 80% of the shots in crunch time? Or is it 90%?..."


I say:
Who else commands a double team that gets team mates easy shots? Shots that too often end in bricks. Playing Memphis just 4 or 5 games ago; instead of Kobe taking the game winning shot, Ron Artest took the shot and what happened...we lost! The whole rest of the league wants anybody else, ANYBODY ELSE, taking that shot other than Kobe for a reason. Idiot!


Ted Green says:
"Kobe, did you see Lamar's comment after he scored 25 in Utah? ”I'm decent." How dripping with pathos was THAT remark?


I say:
Once again Ted at least try to understand the nuance of sports speak. Pathos refers to pity, do you thinks Odom was trying to elicit pity? "I'm decent" is merely his way of bragging about himself having a good game. Actually I'm glad he had a good game. My only question is Lamar where else have you been for many other games?


Frankly, I'm very pleased, VERY PLEASED to see the rest of the Lakers do well. But by the same token I know what side my bread is buttered on.
Who carried the team when Pau was out 17 games?
Who carries the team when Odom does his disappearing act?
Who makes the 3's when Sasha can't shoot against anybody playing real defense?


In many ways some members of this team, some fans, and certainly Ted Green, remind me of the Republicans.
The Republicans rail against the Obama stimulus, but are to eager to be seen taking photographs with checks for their communities. How quickly Ted Green, some fans, and team mates rail against Kobe, but are to happy to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.


Instead of whining and crying the rest of this team needs to man-up an get more of a refuse to lose attitude, like it's two captains, Kobe & Derek.


To Kobe,
please do, take and enjoy a much needed rest.
You have carried this team for years and I at least appreciate it.


To Ted Green,
grow up and grow a pair, but thanks for your opinion.


I'm out

lakergeorge,

Yes I agree, I've actually written on one of the previous threads that I am interested to see how Kobe will design his game when he comes back. I love Kobe undeniably but i can see clearly, my love is not blind haha. I find myself screaming at my tv for Kobe to passs, there are times that he proves me wrong and be amazed, there are times that i get disappointed. So he's not pefect nor is this team. His shot selections were questionable at times, but never question his heart and his will to win.

Like i've written before, EVERYONE needs some adjusting to do, not just Kobe or Pau, everyone even the coaching staff. Some of the posts here are just so hateful that they forget about enjoying the journey and forget to appreciate the game and the players. It's whining I hear and not positive criticisms. Some of the posts are very well written and I've learned a lot from our intelligent posters, too many to name, but they know who they are.

Basketball is a teamgame. Strength through unity. Unity through faith!

I pray that the players do not take this article seriously or that they are not playing hard when Mr. Bryant is injured or since he is out, they are trying to get their minute of fame. They won that championship on the back of Mr.
Bryant-especially a needed game against the Rockets last year. Teams need to just say "we are about championships." Mr. Bryant can do this completely-offense and defense and if we stick together, we will repeat for six more years. I have seen a lot of games played and the team that has a player like Mr. Bryant wins a lot of championships; however, it all goes to zero when the players on the team want a individual or "we can play better without our star player because I need to be that star player" The Lakers under pressure needs Mr. Bryant. Mr. Bryant needs the team to get the championship.

Teams winning under adversity isn't anything new in the NBA. Ask the Rockets...they're pros at it. The same happened with Portland when they lost key stars. It also happened with the Nuggets. But, in time those efforts fade and the key players are truly missed.

Stop being a Kobe hater. It's about time those other players step up and Phil finally settles on a rotation.
We knew the hater would come to their anti Kobe conclusions. Heck not even Barkley goes this far. He says this will make the Lakers better. Kobe loves it when the players step up. He figured it out three years ago. That's why he rarely takes to the offense in the 1st quarter. For him it's about getting the team going. That strategy has worked for him and the Lakers. How soon writers forget.

Guys, Guys, Guys. Newsflash -- Kobe is not perfect. Right now on a Cavs blog, there's some guy railing against Le Bron. And in Miami -- D. Wade. If you watch someone night-in-and-night-out like we Laker fans do, you create a narrative in your head. Kobe -- evil. Kobe -- great. My narrative is this -- when the other mortal Lakers go into a funk, the other teams starts a huge run, the other playoff team starts making us look silly -- Kobe seems to stop the bleeding. Kobe makes his grimace face, and digs in. Not on my watch, he seems to say. I love him for that. Coming from a sports town, where you can feel the panic spread through the WHOLE team, and no one steps up and goes -- "Uh, Uh. Nope" -- I love Kobe for that. It all starts in that fourth quarter against Portland so long ago, down by 15 ...

tonyman26:
To Ted Green,
grow up and grow a pair, but thanks for your opinion.
--
... he did. he called out Kobe for the egotistical, self-serving ball-hog that he is.

tonyman26
I'm out
--
...of your mind.

Wow! This guy uses three games to define Kobe's worth to the team. How soon we forget. Obviously the result of short sightedness and lack of basketball intelect. It's sad when LA Times hires these narrow minded writers that can take three games and explain an entire season. This reminds me of why I rarely turn to the LA Times Laker news.

Like Stanley Woods, I've been getting pretty frustrated by all of the Kobe hate being bantered around the interwebs of late. People need to realize something and realize it quickly -- with their star player out, the rest of the team has been playing harder. That's why the triangle is more fluid. That's why the defense is more effective. It's amazing how much can happen when players actually hustle. Do you remember the play against the Spurs where Pau, Artest, and LO were grabbing offensive rebound after offensive rebound trying to get the ball in? Now just imagine how good we would be and how fluid our offense would look if the team tried that hard when Kobe was in the game.

This is not Kobe's problem to fix. Stop being so reactionary and short sighted. Kobe has shown time and again that he is happy to be a facilitator when his teammates show him that they want the ball and hustle for it. This is a motivational issue for the rest of the team. Will they keep working as hard when Kobe returns? Or will they relax and place all the work on Kobe's shoulders again? Ask yourselves this, is Kobe always selfish with the ball? Aren't there games when Kobe has facilitated more than looked for his own shots? Yes, yes there are. The most recent examples of which come from last season in the playoffs -- which, not surprisingly is the last time the rest of the team had incentive to work really hard and not just ride Kobe's coattails.

I completely agree with this article and that doesn´t mean that Kobe isn´t great.You need a team to win championships. Otherwise Lebron would have already won one or two.

TG,
Great points! You absolutely have it right and if Kobe is to secure his distance between him and Lebron the way to do that is through championships! What better way to create the distance by not letting Lebron get a ring on KB's watch...not on my reign, he didn't it after I got mine. First one to 7 wins!!!! Kobe, you have 4, think, Magic, MJ, then your legacy will speak for itself.
Lebron is in year 7 and no rings...Kobe got his in the 5th year. TEAM BALL will increase your chances to 7 and extend your career. We want you to stick around alot longer KB!

Did Pau guard Howard in the finals of 2009? Don´t you remember?

You need a team to win. I completely agree with this article.Kobe is a great player but you need a team to win. Jordan needed Pippen, Rodman, etc. Did Pau guard Howard in the last finals? I think so. Is Howard a center? I think so. Is Duncan a center?....

IT SEEMS AS IF THIS TEAM DOES NOT NEED GASOL SINCE THEY WON WHEN HE SAT OUT I7 GAMES,THEY DONT NEED LAMAR SINCE HE SHOWS UP ONCE EVERY 5 GAMES AND THEY ARE STILL NUMBER 1 IN THE WEST THEY DONT NEED JORDON FARMAR SINCE HE RARELY SHOWS UP SHANNON BROWN IS BETTER AND WE SURE COULD DO WITHOUT SASHA WHO NEVER SHOWS UP.ANOTHER THING CAN PAU PUT THIS TEAM ON HIS BACK AND GET 30 OR MORE POINTS WHEN THE REST OF THE TEAM IS HAVING A BAD SHOOTING NIGHT? AND DONT YOU THINK LAMAR BUSS AND KOBE FOR STEPPING ON HIS FOOT,HE SAT ANDREW OUT FOR THE REST OF THE 2008 SEASON BY COMMING DOWN ON HIS ANKLE,HUMM

I think fans just liked seeing baskeball being played instead of watching iso plays. Rembmer in the 80's when bball viewership was way down? What was the complaint? Right, too many star wannabes dribbling on one side of the court while the 0ther 4 watched. And those great looks Kobe gets his teammates? Too many of them are after Kobe has dribbled off 10-15 important seconds at the top of the key. Or course they stand around, how often does the emperor call for the ball as soon as it crosses mid court and then take the first and only shot. Kobe has always been too in love with himself and the idea of being the "hero".

BEFORE you call me a hater just remember that like Ted Green I wasn't born in the Jordan Years. I've got a perspective on the Lakers that goes back to before WC came to play out his career here and before JW was the Logo.

You can look at these 3 games one of two ways:

1) These 3 wins are proof that the Lakers are better without Kobe. Kobe needs to share the ball more going forward.

2) These 3 wins are proof that the Lakers have been underachieving with Kobe in the lineup. The rest of the Lakers need to sustain that same intensity they showed in those three games when Kobe returns.

Option #1 is the predictable stance any sportswriter would take. It's popular to call Kobe a ball-hog and blame him for all the Lakers failures. It could be right, but in this case it's totally wrong.

There is simply no excuse for the Lakers lackluster defense prior to the last 3 games. Kobe's presence has nothing to do with defensive intensity, and that's what the Lakers showed against Portland, San Antonio and Utah. The Lakers played like that for much of last season, when Kobe was in the lineup, jacking up shots.

So, if you think the Lakers playing well has anything to do with the amount of shots Kobe is taking, you're either delusional, or you missed all of last season. But hey, it's easy to bash Kobe and it requires no critical thought. Plus, the Kobe-haters love it and will praise you over and over again, but in this case, it's simply wrong.

The rest of the Lakers need to play hard when Kobe returns to the lineup, even if he takes a bunch of shots. If not, maybe Pau should reflect, and remember what it was like playing for Memphis, where he was the #1 option, and didn't have the option of passing the ball to the G.O.A.T. Lamar can think back to his Clipper days and Derek Fisher can fantasize about playing in Golden State once again. The rest of the Lakers may be taking Kobe for granted, and that's not a good thing.

Adios

I''m a big Laker fan, not a big Kobe fan though but I admit kb24 has impressed me so many times especially when games are on the line. But yeah, I guess the ball hogging habits of Kobe has not left his system. I too have the same observation and you could not have said it any better. It's time to play team basketball and the team has shown it with Kobe injured. What's there left to prove for kb24, right? He's scored 81pts. in a single game, surpassed Jerry West as all-time leading scorer as a Laker, and an MVP... well more championships would be a delight but that could only happen with team play! Let's go Lakers!

I see your points Mr. Green... However, teams have scouted the lakers with Kobe, and the rest of the players.... They are just getting film on the config without Kobe... So, if Kobe were to sit out say 20 games, that would be a better barometer of how good they are without him...

Also, I say right now they play better defense now without ANDREW BYNUM in the lineup... That's really how they are winning these games... He is the laziest , slowest rotating player in the league..

Remember, how easily we got past the west 2 years ago, compared to last year?

Lamar was the starting 4....


Dave J

One interesting perception of the author is that Kobe models so much of his game around Jordan, the finisher, when he could take more lessons from Magic, the facilitator. When Kobe's on the floor, the underlying assumption that everyone on the floor has is that he's the best option. That leads everyone -- not just Kobe -- to second-guess or preempt the Triangle offense. When you see the triangle break down in the old Bulls games, they would often just try to reset it and start over. But with these Lakers, it just turns into one-on-0ne basketball, with the ball in Kobe's hands.

Kobe's a smart guy. Do you think he'll take anything from all this? I hope so.

All you die-hard Kobe fans, like Jon K., have no argument and can only resort to name-calling and demeaning comments about posters who view Kobe's role differently. Ted has written an insightful article which deserves discussion of opposing views, not continuing insults at poster who disagree. There is no debate that Kobe is the best finisher and should be the primary option to take the last shot with the game on the line. What's debatable is how his individual play affects the Lakers - is that good or bad for the team. This poster agrees with Ted that a stat line like Magic's would be more beneficial to the team. Yes, it's only 3 games, but they were very impressive and there was no need for anyone to hit a game-winning shot to pull out a victory.

This article is spot on... These Lakers are talented enough to where Kobe doesn't need to take so many shots.

LOL at this lame article. The only reason the fakers won was because teams were caught off guard when Kome wasn't playing. To even suggest these scrubs can play like this for a long stretch is funny. The fakers rely to heabily on Kome like the heat do on Wade. Your team has been exposed so many times it's not even funny.

So let's getr something clear, I think Kobe is the best player in the league right now, but I'm with exhldvr, right now he should come back and play something different, I would love to see him somewhere around 8 to 10 assist per game.

By the way for those of you claiming that we palyed great and dominant without Gasol, there's something in your reasoning that keeps bothering me...Ahhh yeah I know what it is: 13-6 vs 30-7, that was it. I'll let you figure out what those numbers mean.

Lol Man after all these years of watching the game I can't believe articles like this get people so angry. First off the laker played seriously inferior competition. The Jazz on back to back, the old tired spurs who are not good this year average at best. And a seriously depleted blazers team missing multiple components. Second Pau Gasol's playoff record pre Kobe is 0-16. He is a great player alongside of Kobe but a truly great player will win 1 play off in 16 regardless of his team. He can't carry a ball club over an entire 82 games. Lamar has been the bane of La hearts for years with his inconsistent play and nothing has changed. The ball movement is better without Kobe but you truly can't be a better Team unless you can still win a championship no Kobe no chance a ring period. So they aren't a better team! Had they played orlando, the cavs or nuggets they would have not been able to score enough points to win the ball game cause those teams match up and you can't truly stop them so you looking at a 20 point plus loss easy. Cause when Lebron, D Howard, or Melo takes the game over and goes to a level that great players reach and not very good players the lakers will have nobody who can match that level. Then they would get run out the gym. Bottom line is when he shoots it's he shoots to much. When he passes he is trying to prove a point. But when the game is close Lamar, Gasol, Farmer, Sasha, Shannon all look to Kobe and say save us Kobe cause we are lost!

And to the guy who had the guts to compare Pau Gasol's ring to Dwight's 0 and say he had to guard him 1 on 1 you are real funny. Lol They Doubled Dwight every single game with bynum and gasol. Gasol would get destroyed by Howard guarding him man up. That's not even a disrespect to Gasol he is a very good player but he does not have the strength to guard him man up. You can't compare his rings to Dwight any way cause Gasol is the man for his team. Dwight leads his team. You would have to compare playoff records where Gasol was the man as I stated before he was swept every year.

yeah they've won three games without kobe n yeah but its three games they beat a spurs team that's not that great on the road n they beat a banged up blazer team with out roy they did hav a great win against the jazz but its three games let them go ten games with out kobe n see what they do yeah did kobe learn that his team might be better than what he thought probably but it doesnt make the lakers a better team. Kobe represents the lakers and you have to take account the big shots n his leader that can't be replaced

 
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