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Kobe Bryant named to NBA's all-defensive first team for ninth time

61107159In an honor that NBA coaches must mostly determine by reputation, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant made a league-tying ninth appearance on the NBA's all-defensive first team list.

That total puts Bryant in a four-way tie with Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan and Gary Payton for the most All-Defensive First team honors in NBA history, but even the most vocal Bryant supporters admit that he's mostly avoided playing defense this season out of injury and energy-level concerns. There's no doubt Bryant was once a great defender, has a strong defensive awareness and helps with pointing out where teammates need to rotate, but his responsibility playing the centerfield position hardly warrants him having stronger consideration than even some of his teammates.

Lakers center Andrew Bynum took a large ownership of the team's defensive scheme that emphasized funneling drivers to the lane, averaged two blocks a game and intimidated players with his length and size, a huge reason why the Lakers went 17-1 after the All-Star break. Though the effort came with varying degrees of consistency, Lakers forward Ron Artest was often counted on to shut down the opposing teams' top player and closing out perimeter shooters, a quality that gave the Lakers a huge advantage when Artest lived up to that billing.

That doesn't necessarily mean Bynum and Artest should appear on the NBA's all-defensive first team in place of Orlando's Dwight Howard, Miami's LeBron James, Boston's Rajon Rondo, or Boston's Kevin Garnett or on the second team in front of Memphis' Tony Allen, New Orleans' Chris Paul, Dallas' Tyson Chandler, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, or Chicago's Joakim Noah. But there's no question that Bynum and Artest played a larger role in the Lakers' defense than Bryant. This isn't necessarily a knock on Kobe. His role was to score and he played tremendous defense when he needed to, such as when he primarily guarded Paul in Game 2 of the Lakers-Hornets first-round series. But he's hardly the defensive stalwart he once was, even if the awards suggest otherwise. 

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant cuts off the drive of New Orleans point guard Chris Paul during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / April 22, 2011.

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Joke! kobe has'nt played defense in some years! remember sundays 20 3points by the mavs, kobe just roams around and leaves his man open! he usually plays the worst off guard in the other team. Guess vanessa must be the judge!

Kobe on the all-defensive team ?? You got to be kidding right ?? Kobe is the worst defensive player on the Laker team and he was voted by the coaches which means it is only name recognition. We could look at all the game films and see that he guards his man from 10-15 feet away and is usuallu under the basket. This while the man he is supposed to guard is making 3's from the corner. Anytime he canot guard someone because they are too fast for him he asks PJ to give the player to someone else. Kobe is getting to be slow and old. The young pg's run all over and around him. JJ Barea from Mavs ran circles around him and so has Westbrook from Thunder. CP3 did the same thing. Artest was twice as good as Kobe.

This is a test since my other posts are now gone.


News about Lakers gets worse by the hour. kobe got named to nba all-defensive first team. They always pick him for this because of his offensive skills and that is a shame. This season he was usually guarding the person that doesn't take that many shots even if it meant that he would guard a small forward. Many times kobe would stand around directing traffic and the other 4 would guard 5 players. kobe was good about putting his hand in someones' face, but he usually did it after the ball had already been shot. If they kept the stats, I'm sure kobe would be in the top 10 of the players that gave up the most points. Give kobe all the offensive awards you want, but top defense or being a team player, has never been his cup of tea.


Let's get Dwight Howard, CP3, Kevin Love for Pau Gasol, Bynum (if needed be), and Odom (if needed be)

trade everyone!!!!!

Next two years, focus on getting Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant!!!

Kobe Bryant wife Vanessa is a spoiled, arrogant brat. First, she forces Kobe and his own parents to not talk and be on bad terms until very recently, she brought in trouble for Kobe and Karl Malone. Now this...she thinks she's above the world....get rid of her Kobe

Whether Bryant is a better defender then he once was means nothing the award goes to the best defenders now Kobe is the better one on one defender then lebron defense is more than stats also Jordan was overated he got a defensive player of the year award when Scottie was clearly the better defender

Thread went kind of sideways. Kobe's defense is still one that opposing coaches game plan for, has he lost a step yes, did he coast this season yes but still a Kobe Bryant at 75% is still better than 90% of the league and there's only so many top defensive guards out there and thats what the coaches vote on, yes Bynum may defend better as an example but there's only one slot on the voters sheet for center and there's two for guard

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