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Lakers Report Cards: Kobe Bryant

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant continuously took a measured approach during the 2010-2011 season because of his injuries. Credit: Mark D. Smith / US Presswire / February 27, 2011 This is the fifth edition of Lakers Report Cards, focusing today on guard Kobe Bryant.

Grade: B+

One day removed from his scintillating All-Star performance where he collected his fourth All-Star MVP, threw down a thunderous slam over LeBron James, and showcased his superiority among the league's best, Kobe Bryant stood outside the Lakers' training room relishing the "elder statesmen" role the eager and idolizing 20-something-year-old All-Stars bestowed on him.

He embraced giving them advice over unspecified parts of their game. He admitted feeling humbled to seeing Russell Westbrook mimic a pull-up jumper that Bryant had imitated from Michael Jordan. And he expressed sentiments that the state of the NBA will be in good hands with the likes of Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love running the show. But since when has the uber-competitive Bryant allowed any opponent any sort of an edge? 

"I don't give a ....," Bryant said matter-of-factly. "You can't beat me in June."

Obviously, Bryant couldn't prove that this year with the Lakers falling to the Dallas Mavericks in an embarrassing Western Conference semifinal sweep. But in the Lakers' 2010 NBA championship, Bryant didn't exactly prove that he's invincible in June, either. His six of 24 Game 7 shooting performance proved he's vulnerable with his energy and assorted injuries, but with the combination of a strong supporting cast and his endless determination, he'd find a way. 

There's no argument that Bryant's play isn't as dominant as it once was. Bryant's regular-season averages of 25.3 points in 33.9 minutes per game marked his lowest statistical output since the 2003-04 season. His playoff averages of 22.9 points in 35.4 minutes marked his lowest mark since the 1999-2000 season. And his missed potential game winner in the series opener against Dallas preceded a 19 points per game average in the final three games.

Even with those numbers, Bryant proved to be the team's best player, will still be relied on to close games and will still earn plaudits from opposing players and coaches as the league's best player. But with the standard remaining high for Bryant, his grade drops to a B + because of ongoing complications managing his injuries and his mixed leadership approach. 

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Aside from the occasional games where he took a high volume of shots even when they didn't fall and ran out of the triangle, Bryant simply didn't have a better alternative with how he played. He entered this season fresh off arthroscopic knee surgery and faced a balance between needing to build strength during the season and sustaining it so his knee could last for the whole season. So with Phil Jackson's encouragement, Bryant largely stayed out of most practices, spending that time weight training, getting treatment on his knee and participating in shooting drills. He stayed out of most conditioning and full-court scrimmages, resulting in an inevitable dropoff in team chemistry. But with the possibility that Bryant's knee could worsen with more mileage, the Lakers didn't have easy answers. 

"It played a part in the fact guys felt like they can take days off because I’m not there," Bryant said. "It’s like your big brother not being around, you feel like you can go around the house and do all these things with the toys and that kind of stuff because I’m not on the court with you. It’s upsetting to me."

"They knew going in with my knee situation was. We communicated that with them and me not being able to practice and them taking the responsibility with the intensity in nature because of my knee. It’s upsetting and disappointing to me because I wasn’t able to get out with them every day. But at the same time, you can’t use that as  a crutch or excuse because I wasn’t out there." 

The Lakers' poor play reached a tipping point after their embarrassing Christmas Day loss, prompting Bryant to publicly criticize the team and vow to "kick ... in practice," a message that deviated from both him abstaining from practice and his insistence on staying even-keel through the ups-and-downs throughout the season. This isn't so much a commentary on Bryant being a "good teammate" He's evolved since the 2007-08 season into a player more trusting of his teammates and  the talent around him no longer makes him feel as impatient and compelled to do everything on his own. But what's became an ongoing adjustment this season for Bryant entailed knowing where to pick his spots. 

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Bryant remained even-keeled through November, maintaining the same stoic and hungry demeanor after a win or loss. But that all went out the window following the Lakers' Christmas Day loss against Miami. He then retreated into a more subtle approach, during which he encouraged the media to criticize the team. His wish was granted, with the usual analysis along with reports on Ron Artest confronting Phil Jackson and ones that revealed a few Lakers, including Pau Gasol, showed up late to a shootaround. The ongoing adjustment clearly showed Bryant wanted to ratchet up the intensity to spur better performances and then dial the pressure back so he didn't derail his teammates' confidence level.

"I have to focus on the challenge in getting us to win another championship," Bryant said. "To do that, I have to take the temperature of the guys and realize what they need at that particular moment. Sometimes it requires patience. Sometimes it requires understanding. I have to keep my finger on the pulse of this team. As a result, sometimes we go on a few stretches where we're not playing well, but I don't lose these guys and scare them to death."

Credit Bryant for making adjustments and finding other ways to reach his teammates. As much as his teammates deserve blame for not following his lead and relying too much on his heroics, however, that disconnect also falls on Bryant. The same applies to his injuries. No doubt, Bryant has historically shown he knows his body well and will thrive in moments when he pushes the envelope, such as his Game 5 performance against New Orleans where he posterized Emeka Okafor despite nursing a sprained left ankle/foot. But all the around the clock treatment and injury prevention proved not enough in making him have enough energy to close out games late in the season in typical Bryant fashion. 

That's why Bryant's offseason will prove critical in temporarily resting from the basketball mileage and then working on his leg strength so he no longer has to pace himself during the season. Bryant surely won't concede anything, but next season will show whether his performance in the 2010-2011 season was simply an aberration or a continued mark of decline. 

"This offseason gives me a chance to really go to another level," Bryant said. "There’s a difference between feeling healthy and as strong as I can be. I feel like I could do everything I wanted to do. But there’s another level I can get to."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant continuously took a measured approach during the 2010-2011 season because of his injuries. Credit: Mark D. Smith / US Presswire / February 27, 2011

Middle photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after a foul was called on a teammate during Game 4 against the Mavericks on last week in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 8, 2011.

Bottom photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has a look of determination as he prepares to play defense against Dallas on Wednesday night during Game 2 at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / May 4, 2011

 
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Kobe is the Greatest Player that still plays. Not the best, but the Greatest to still play the game of bball.

Now it's time to embrace this greatness and switch to Great, instead of Best.

First, avoid those six-of-24 shooting. A Great player may score or may not, but he will not waste so many possessions like that. Being Great means you'll understand what's going on with the game at that particular moment, take the right decisions, make the team play the way you want. If you have the best rebounder of all times, then (maybe) you can shoot six-of-24, coz we'll most likely get the rebound, right? Otherwise, use your brain and make it happen...


And please, pratice with the team. Without pratice, there's nothing...

Cheers.

Nope, A-.

Kobe a B+? Seriously after playing through countless injuries that only the Mamba could struggle with? Ugh. I don't knnow why I bother. I intended on writing a lot about everything that's been going on but I was so turned off by all the trolls. Then I see some of these outrageous report cards.

Magic Phil

Don't let Allen Iverson get a hold of you, elevating practice like that! :)

Kobe had an average year by his own lofty standards even though he was slowed by injuries, plus father time is catching up. Anyway he will have a full off season to rest up and get back to god mode status. The PSP still think he should get some work done on the digits, but I guess he knows his own body better.

Btw, haven't heard from the Island Priestess for a whole day now! Hobbit, you are invited for questioning at the practice police department in connection with the disappearance of a certain character.

Thanks
PSP Officer

INSTAAAAAAA POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOST ... MM if you were a beautiful, young woman the PSP would blow you a smooch but you are not so you only get a head nod ... ' nods head'

Thanks
PSP Intern ( back on the all night shift!)

Count me among those who believe that Kobe still has several years as an elite player in the league. In fact, I believe he's going to shock and shut up some prominent critics (cough***Barkley***cough) next year. For the last two years he's been playing with enough assorted physical ailments that would have sat three other guys for most of each season. That he has continued to play, and play at a high level, with all these ailments is nothing short of amazing.

This early exit for the Lakers will prove to be a blessing in disguise. With the rest and physical rehab Kobe's going to get, I expect him to come back like the Kobe we remember, and in doing so, re-energize the whole team.

I give him no worse than an A-...and yeah, I do expect the Lakers to get #17 next year.

Let me pat myself in the back for ridding this, here, blog of trolls and affecting the blogosphere to become a more- "user" friendly blog once again.

On to the particulars. We all sense that fatigue gave in for everybody, and that the bench worsened and ended wearing thin, to the point that yes, Kobe went back to being Kobe, and even when he made the effort to facilitate for others, they wouldn't put forth the effort nor did have the drive to three-peat. How many times would we see Ron disappear. I would give Kobe an A- or B+ since he had less clutch shots, but memorable games such as the Thunder.. ultimately give the Mavericks a lot of credit for capitalizing on their offense, and Rick Carlisle outcoaching - part of me tells me if the chemistry would have been right, and Matt Barnes hadn't fired them up so much the last meeting of the season, that the series would have been different, but part of me is we couldn't close out teams in the final stretch and overplayed for home court when it didn't even matter, because fatigue would kick in worse after a heated 1st round with a fresher, younger team, then again maybe the Mavs were just that better and deserved to win (even if they might lose to the Thunder or Grizzlies in the conf final).

:)

The interesting thing will be to see how Kobe's body heals next season. Anyone who's had a knee surgery (or pays attention to players who have it) know that it generally takes a year before you get close to normal again. With his myriad of injuries (on top of recovering from the arthroscopic surgery), Kobe was a walking M.A.S.H. unit all season. The question will be does father time prevent him from recovering and his physical abilities continue to decline, or does he continue to defy the laws of nature and turn the clock back for a big season?

I won't bet against a resurgent season, even if I would logically expect his career arc to continue to slope downward.

MM-Dude you didn't comment of Kobe BAD shooting percentage, there were many nights he couldn't fine the basket. 6-27 were pretty common.

Time for a reality check! If you really want to see a more motivated Kobe then bring in Jerry Sloan for a year. Sloan is the coach's version of Kobe. Driven, relentless, workaholic, take losses badly, you name it they have the same personality. Sloan would have the immediate respect of everyone in the locker room. It would give the team the added incentive to get Jerry the championship he has always deserved.

Now, I still feel Rick Adelman is a better long term choice but if we want to kick the team in the butt and wake them up then Jerry is the only choice. Brian Shaw will change nothing. He will get ignored and tuned out. The patients would run the asylum. What say you?

I say A-. Best player in the league on a day in day out basis. Had the Lakers' bench not evaporated, then it would have been a different story. I remember the stat in one of the Dallas games - at one point the bench was out scored 46 to 7 - what are the starting 5 supposed to do? Build up a 40 point lead so they win by 1? Pau could come in for Bynum. They never did have anyone to come in for Pau. What happened to the rookies? Theo? Just go spend the money and build the biggest, baddest beast of a team. Yeah, they could win with a few average players for the bench, but man oh man, if they wanted to, they could really go over the top.

I give him no worse than an A-...and yeah, I do expect the Lakers to get #17 next year.
Posted by: CornerJ | May 13, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Dude...you Lakerholics will never learn, and they'll win 72 games..I don't think so. It'll be another wasted year and you'll be calling for who ever coach the team HEAD in a bucket. This team will not, I'm going to say this again....WELL NOT WIN ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP NO TIME SOON. Second round and a PITIFUL FLAME OUT,just be happy you're better then the CLIP'S for now.

MM,

So this is a "can't say anything negative about Kobe" Blog now? I notice you removed my post.

Let me give Kobe an accurate report card:

Fostering Team chemistry F
Leadership F
Play within team offense D
Skill level B
Performance B

Overall grade: D+

IP- you're on point again.

Actually that soon will be in the terms of agreement not to write anything negative about kobe or the Lakers. If you do you will be banned for life and get sued by Medina. Medina didn't post my recollection of a case involving the Bryants and a poor korean maid. My only point was to show the lack of empathy for the poor and down throdden by kobe and his wife. Look at the Priest, I do fairly well and I gladly let some of you guys like Hermit and Trolley Man clean the windshield of my BMW or purchase 1 or 2 of the plastic roses you guys sell while stuck in traffic. Of course I throw them away in the nearest trash can but it's the THOUGHT THAT COUNTS. Finally, if I come home and I find couple of yall in a whirlpool, frigidaire or maytag box camped out on my lawn I gladly leave you guys sleep there until the following morning when I will have one of my security officers kick you off my property. As you can see The Priest is a humanitarian.

Priestess

Where you been at? The PSP missed your clowning out here; I guess you are not a 100% Kobe hater then. At least you gave him some decent grades.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Thanks G, how many games you think the Heat Bulls series will go? Like you I am eagerly awaiting the official coronation of King James. Why should poor leadership, lack of chemistry, selfishness, poor peformance in the finals be rewarded year after year as demonstrated by Kobe? It is time that a great and unselfish player like LBJ finally get his due.

If worse comes to worse, Lakers should keep the core players which are Bynum, Pau, Artest, Kobe, and Fisher (although he should retire if he has any dignity to help the Lakers capture a much better player).

We should still go after Dwight Howard & Chris Paul. if we want to compete against Miami, OK Thunder, Memphis, Bulls, Mavs, and even Celtics, Spurs, Trail Blazers....

NEXT YEAR'S LINE UP SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:

Bynum, Pau, Howard, Kobe, Chris Paul

Bench: Lamar Odom, Artest, Blake Griffin, Steve Nash, Barnes, Fisher,

There's no doubt in my mind that Kobe ranks among the greatest players in the NBA. However, the age factor is finally catching up with him. He could enhance his legacy by acting more of a real court general rather than doing much of the shootings by himself.

Mary are you on drugs

Posted by: island priest
It is time that a great and unselfish player like LBJ finally get his due.

How is teaming up with two other all stars and being one to rip the hearts out of a entire city on national tv in embrassing fashion be one to get his do.The one who's playing the best ball on that team right now is D Wade not LBJ.
But with all that hatred you have againt Kobe i get it.Tell me are you a Laker fan?I always see you on here talking bad about Kobe.Well say what you want about him,he just help the Lakers won 2 out of 3 Nba Championships.

Go Lakers reload!

Let me give Kobe an accurate report card:

Fostering Team chemistry F
Leadership F
Play within team offense D
Skill level B
Performance B

Overall grade: D+

Posted by: island priest | May 13, 2011 at 11:59 PM

The grades you have here tells me you are either angry or know absolutely nothing about basketball. I stayed away from the post after the elimination because people would over react one way or another but this is way beyond absurd.

Fostering team chemistry: You gave an F as if you actually participate in with the team. You watched the team on the TV just like the rest of us and there is nothing that I saw from Kobe's interaction with his teammates that warrants an F. How did you come up with this? Please enlighten me. Make me change my mind.

Leadership: Another F, see comment above.

Play within team offense D: Really, I thought Kobe tried too hard to fit guys into the offense when they should have had more confidence to take on a bigger role themselves. Kobe is a shooting guard not the point guard and as such he job is to put the ball in the basket. Did Kobe take some bad shots at times? Of course he did but doesn't everybody, I say B as the lowest possible grade here.


Skill level B: This is the one that kills me. What skill are you judging here? Running and jumping are not basketball skills. You and I can do that but that does not make us expert basketball players. Kobe's overall basketball skill is unmatched in the NBA at the moment. He just does not run or jump as high as before. You could probably say he not as effective shooter as before because of the hand injuries but there is still not a better shot maker in the league than Kobe. Skill level, he is an A. Name someone that does all facets of basketball skill better than Kobe. Just so we are clear here, basketball skills: shooting, passing, dribbling, positioning, court awareness, and basketball IQ both on offense and defense. Notice I did not include running, jumping or dunks in the list.


Performance B: I am inclined to agree with you here simply because the Lakers did not get it done this year and for that there can be no excuse.

Overall Grade for Kobe this year: B because you cannot hide the fact that the Lakers did not get it done and Kobe as team leader did not get them there in the end. The leader always takes the hit for his team period. Kobe is no different in that regard.

I don't facebook, twitter, or typewhatever

guess that's it.

The essential factors are,shooting,penetration,passing,defense,closing n the clutch,making teamates better. Mamba gets a c.

He gat to the rak less thus less to the foul line in the mavs series.his outside shooting overall declined.his closing n the clutch or crunch time was below average, at least by his standards.

His defense was gud as he often checked the hot gd on the floor inc the pt gd. He makes his teamates better but stabs them w his frowns if they dont measure up.

Scratch that. Hes still the 2 nd best two gd n the nba. But hes 32.and injured. I give him a B.

Mamba has no problem w shooting the lakers out of games.his shooting overall and n the clutch has declined. I love his spirit n checking the best 2 or pt gd. He makes his teamates better but stabs them n the back by frowning when they perform poorly...

MM - no on the forced logon - I like it how it is.

As for Kobe I totally admire him and think he is the only one who brought it every game - even though he is so banged up he still gave it his all. However, I do feel like this year was the start of his decline. His shot selection was horrible, he turned over the ball many times in many games at critical moments, he didn't appear to foster a team atmosphere, but I also realize that if they didn't have kobe this team may not even be in the playoffs.

Kobe is not leaving this team - he is going to retire a Laker. My concern is will he decline gracefully or will he just want to be #1 the entire way down? Unfortunately, I think he is going to take the latter path.

Even in his exit interview where he spoke of the pecking order - to me this leads me to believe he would not want dhoward. He wants to be #1 and I don't think his ego will ever let him be a second or third option. He is going down gunning...which could be really really ugly.

I honestly hope they do not hire shaw as the head coach. Definitely not dunleavy. I fully believe that shaw will just give us more of the same. Kobe, Fish, LO, and the rest want to do it their way - not the coach's way - so if they blew off PJ what will they do to another coach like him?

It will be exciting to see what Mitch and Dr Buss do this offseason - I'm hoping they blow the team up - time for a change. I know change just for change is not good but these guys had their chance - now it's time for new blood, a new system. Discipline. Team. Hunger. Focus. No more stupid reality shows. Rap songs. Outside interests with a higher priority than playing basketball and improving.


Have you ever heard of a place called "123 Get Samples" on the web, they give out a free samples of major brands to promote their products. I just got mine.

I wonder what grade Kobe would give himself...

Sam et al, maybe I shouldn't have given kobe his grades without explaining the process. But eventhough you don't agree with my scoring you have to admit that it is much better presented than Medina's who just gave a subjective grade of B+. Let us deal with the easy ones first which is team chemistry/leadership. Dallas didn't sweep the Lakers, it was more of the case of the Lakers imploded. Bynum not the Priest complained about trust issues on the team. If there was a skirmish between gasol and bynum for example, it was kobe's job to go and pick up gasol and bynum and go for a drive to iron everything out. But it was obvious that it was kobe not trusting his teammates. Then a good leader does not throw his team under the bus when you are guilty of the same thing. He said that the bench must get the ball inside but he shouldn't. Then I read with interest the other day he reported to the media that Gastrong doesn't like him to call Gasol soft. Why would a leader do that to his teammate? I can cite more examples but this will suffice.

The trust issue Bynum was referring to was Kobe not playing within the offense and refusing to pass bynum the ball. Kobe puts self above team and that is what caused trust issues. A good leader welcomes his subordinates getting praise but not bryant. When bynum started to get praise after the all star break kobe froze him out by not getting the ball to him remember? A good leader will mentor someone else. Why can't a guy like kobe take a Shannon Brown under his wing over part of the summer break and mentor him? Because kobe is all about self and no one else. I suggest yall read some leadership books by Dr. Myles Munroe. Kobe is an enigma and cannot relate to others and that is why lakers have leadership by committee with the useless Fisher and the team's best player Kobe.

Skill level i gave kobe a grade of B a fair grade. Kobe has a nice midrange game and can shoot the long ball. But he doesn't get into the paint any longer. Plus he is top ten in turnovers being number 9 actually. So in the 4th quarter kobe is more likely to turn the ball over than to hit the game winner. The Priest doesn't tolerate excuses. I know people will say kobe has a bad finger If he is on the court he should protect the ball no questions. LBJ by comparison is number 21. With performance I gave kobe a generous grade of B. Granted the lakers finished with the west 2nd best record but we would not have had home court against either miami or chicago. But we all know that the lakers underachieved all season long led by kobe. The final insult was to get swept by the Mavericks with kobe not putting up a fight. If he did it was a feeble one. In the game 4 beat down it was kobe only scoring 17 points. Remember now kobe said that bynum job is to just defend and rebound. So kobe should have at least scored 40 points to keep the game respectable. But after kobe destroyed the team's chemistry and confidence he gave the lakers 17 points? That was not jordanesque. Besides rick carlisle put the 'defensive specialist' 38 year old slow jason kidd on the player with according to yall having the best skill set in the nba in the 4th quarter. Kidd played stifling defense on the mamba. i rest my case.

Island Pest, you're becoming either the Sam Perkins (non-stop trash talker about DFish) of this blog regarding Kobe, or G Money's caddy regarding LeBronze and the Heat. Your occasional lucid points are getting increasingly difficult to find among your Kobe-stalking spamming. Seriously, perhaps you and G Money should take your blog brilliance to South Beach, where those talents will be needed once Chicago knocks off the Heat.

I'm a laker fan but don't like the attitude of kobe cryant. Many laker fans feel the same way. When he said he trust his teammates but trusted himself more he was a young man and like most young people he was dumb. But now he is almost 33 and he feels the same way? Kobe knows better. Dr. Buss better get a strong coach. I laughed when i read the mamba's comments about shaw saying brian knew how they liked to be coached. That was a damning a comment as ever. That means shaw kobe likes to eat first and plays outside the team's offense....

Seriously, perhaps you and G Money should take your blog brilliance to South Beach, where those talents will be needed once Chicago knocks off the Heat.
Posted by: CornerJ
_______________

lol!

Indeed! The Bulls will knock them out!!!!


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Let us take a look at the legend jordan. This was a man who had unmatched skillset. I watched in shock and awe when jordan torched the boston celtics in the 80's playoffs for 63 points with the whole team guarding him at one point. But the bulls got swept 3-0 in the 1st round. Larry legend made a sacrireligious comment but it was telling. he said watching jordan play was like seeing God play basketball. In the following years I rooted for jordan against the cavs and the bad boys pistons. I rooted for him until he faced my beloved lakers in 1990. in game 1 the lakers escaped by the skin on their teeth when Sam Perkins hit a 3 point game winner. But subsequent to that jordan destroyed us. In the closeout game 5 in the waning moments jordan came down the lane to dunk on an already demoralised laker team and while in mid air he swithched from his right to left hand and layed it up instead. i remembered marv albert exclaiming what a fanstatic move by michael jordan! But what i always admired about air jordan was here was a man no one could stop but he would routinely spend the 1st one or two quarters deferring to his team to build up their confidence and still end up with 38 points. Kobe should take a page of master jordan's book.

Corner J someone asked me about my job evaluation on kobe bryant. I was simply explaing my grading that's all.

Thanks G, how many games you think the Heat Bulls series will go? Like you I am eagerly awaiting the official coronation of King James. Why should poor leadership, lack of chemistry, selfishness, poor peformance in the finals be rewarded year after year as demonstrated by Kobe? It is time that a great and unselfish player like LBJ finally get his due.

Posted by: island priest | May 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Hey island priest,

Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoy your posts. I also agree with your evaluations on Kobe's performance this year. It is strange that many fans and media are so blinded and have such an agenda of promoting Kobe's greatness at whatever costs. The only explanation I've come up over the years is that Kobe sells tickets. In the world there are so many guys that are like him for they do not care much about anything else than themselves. Unfortunately, those kind of guys can be very successful, even though their success often comes by achieving their goals at whatever costs, and even if it means throwing the other guys under the bus (Kobe's comments about Shaq/Bynum in the past and his unwillingness to concede a leading role to a more dominant player than himself in Shaq/Bynum ). I guess LA is a kind of town that also fosters this attitude with its often petty movie stars. But you cannot hide a fundamentally flawed basketball player forever. Phil covered up for Kobe's shortcomings (according to Phil Simmons interview, he agreed not to criticize him in the public during his second tenure with the Lakers, even though you could feel he often wanted - that's why I can't wait for his next book to learn about his real thoughts) as did his excellent supporting cast - the best the money can buy. But I honestly believe that Kobe's run is now over and many people will come to see him for what he is - a highly talented, and extraordinarily driven, but still a fundamentally flawed basketball player who never got the "team" aspect of the basketball game. Ten years from now, once Wade's Lebron's, Durant's etc. careers are over, Kobe will not be mentioned among the 10 best players ever. He had the skills and drive to be among the 10 best but failed to understand the fundamental principle that basketball is still a team sport.

Vaasa

Haha, priestess is getting her groove back slowly but surely. The psp don't blame you though; anyone that took the kind of beating that hobbit dished out would probably have wilted the same way you did.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Mike Brez released an interesting article today, What's your deal? Yet, I don't see any wisdom on his recommendations but mere salary swaps. Well, I'd embrace what Mitch said in his interview that Lakers can contend with their present roster, they just have to infuse speedy players.

1st rule - Lakers will not move the first tier players if the trade does not have equally marquee players like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Yes, we are already on the Swap Meet scenario but no deal for Bynum, Gasol and Odom if the team will not improved. Brez mentioned some "washed out" players like Biedrins, Harrington, Diop for Odom.....Duh, even a Laker fan who resides in Antarctica will not entertain this kind of trade. It is put there to encourage conversation but such event has no wisdom at all from sportswriter reputed knowledge of Laker fans.

2nd rule - Lakers will not move the 2nd tier players such as Artest, Brown, Barnes, Blake unless there is an enticing "a steal trade" or act as "fillers" to satisfy rule #1. It is premise Lakers are not on a fire sale, it is slowly but surely replacing antiques with new items. It is like trading your old reliable gas guzzler with the rejuvenated hybrid or electric cars. Will u settle for less with space and power to maximum efficiency of fuel car with a high price tag? Again, it is the Laker tradition of the Jerry West trades - look for a steal or else just sit on your butt with ur present roster. To go for Raymond Felton/Harrington and send Odom and Blake to Nugget is just adding insult to injury to Laker fans. No way Brez, that's a wasted print.

3rd rule - Lakers have four 2nd draft picks and low 1st draft pick, question - can you not find a fast, sharp shooter from this group. Add here Ebanks, Trey Johnson, Shannon Brown these are the young stallions, what they need is a good mentor. Precisely, that is why I recommended Coach K., he is the best mentor for young players that will grow with the Lakers. Adelman, Shaw and Dunleavy - these are over rated coaches who have not proven anything on their resume. They can't handle Kobe at the first juncture of dissatisfaction because Kobe wants to be competitive and end up as a winner. Shaw will only promote a same-same complacency, lazy triangle and an extension of what you witnessed in 2011.

To summarize everything, if the name Howard, Paul, Williams are not in the mix, don't even mention a trade.

Thank you Vaasa for your complimentary comments. You put kobe in perspective more succinctly than the Priest. I too can't wait for Phil's next book to come out as well. I will be sure to purchase several copies for persons who can't afford it like Hobbit, Troll man (or his other personality disorder characters) etc. Better yet I better purchase audio books for those guys. With Kobe I try to be fair which is very unpopular on these blogs. Everyone wants the Priest to just talk about kobe's greatness. I leave the tentativeness to Medina who is afraid to reveal kobe flaws. The priest possess testicular fortitude to report accurately and objectively. PSP you are constantly goading The Priest into a fight that will result in that dastardly moderation by Medina. PSP are you one of the persons along with Hobbit who was cooped into the bus going nowhere? Did you started the practice season movement nonsense? So with your track record you are delusional and credible.

PS. I did not mention names on other players that's my rule #4 it is useless to entertain trades on these soon to be retired players. They are old, slow and no more juice in their system. It is like dealing with old dogs who can't learn new tricks.

Since Dunleavy is in the running, here's some info on him:

--------

"But it's been a while since I've thought hard about Mike Dunleavy and his curious charms, so to get an expert take, I reached out to someone who's watched Mike D's latest coaching work up close: Steve Perrin of our sister site Clips Nation. Steve was generous enough to share his thoughts about MDSr and his suitability for the Lakers, for which we can't thank him enough. Here's what my man had to say:

-------

MDsr overstayed his welcome by so much with the Clippers, I'm not sure how objective I can be. Not that it was even his fault: Donald Sterling was so averse to eating his remaining salary, he just kept him around long after he should have been gone. The last four seasons under MDsr were pretty rough. Injuries obviously derailed most of those seasons, but the Clippers had needed a change for a long time before it happened.

I think Dunleavy's strengths are coaching defense and preparation. The improvements the team made in the first three seasons under MDsr (from 27 to 28 to 37 to 47 wins) were mostly about improved defense. By 2005-06, the Clippers were a top 10 defensive unit, which they've never been before or since. And they did that with a team that did not feature great individual defenders. His help defense schemes were pretty effective if the team committed to them. He also did a good job of developing schemes specific to opponents. The reason the Clippers were relatively successful in the ‘06 playoffs was at least partly due to MDsr's schemes to beat a Carmelo-centric Denver team and to contain Nash on the Suns. No one was really going to outwork MDsr. He knew every other NBA team's playbook as well as they did.

But that over-preparedness could be a little overwhelming for his players, I think. MDsr called every play from the sideline, and also called out defenses depending on the play call of the opposition. Consequently, there wasn't a lot of spontaneity to MDsr teams (a situation that was exemplified in the conflict between Baron and MDsr). MDsr prefers inside-out basketball, and loves iso's/post-ups, for whomever he feels is the best matchup. So for instance, if Sam Cassell had a small point guard or weak defender on him, MDsr would milk that matchup until the opponent adjusted. Same with Cat Mobley or Brand or whatever the matchup was.

It's not the most exciting basketball, but it might actually be pretty effective for the Lakers. MDsr loved to post Mobley and Cat thrived - he would love to do the same with Kobe. But if the Busses want the Lakers to be more up-tempo, then he'd be a bad fit for that. Although he was a protégé of Don Nelson back in the Milwaukee days and he gave lots of lip service to up-tempo while with the Clippers, the reality always seemed to be that playing fast in the end involved a certain loss of control that he couldn't accept. So he would talk about playing fast break ball with Baron, but it never really happened."


http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2011/5/13/2170207/lakers-coaching-rumors-mike-dunleavy-phil-jackson-kobe-bryant#storyjump

Kobe is non-negotiable and has a no-trade clause. You can criticize, malign and put down on Kobe in this blog, however what u are posting will be a "voice in the wilderness". Nobody here is ready to dump Kobe. He is one of the rare great players Lakers ever had. It is like a blast from the past of Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and then there is Kobe. You can be Island Priest, KL the beast, Gunner and leprechaun visitors but that's it a wasted post and bandwidth in this blog. You can't convince anyone here that Kobe should be traded, we have known a healthy Kobe, an injured Kobe, a scandalous Kobe & his wife and a Championship Kobe. Seemingly, it is a topic that will be replayed in so many ways but Laker fans fascination of the Lakers will always be associated with Kobe. Try other topics to make u more credible in this blog.

Look, let's get one thing straight...EVERYONE is fair game for occasional reasoned criticism, Kobe included. But what I object to is the non-stop, stalker-like hammering of a single player (Kobe, Fish, Pau, etc.). It obsessive. It's annoying. And frankly, it's boring. If it's therapeutic for you, fine, go start your own Website (IHateKobe.com, or some such nonsense that openly declares your neurosis), but leave this blog alone. It's tough some days scrolling past the multiple repetitious hit jobs.

Art,

I always respect your wonderful views and u know that, however to entertain Mike Dunleavy, wow that's really a stretch. lol!

I remember the last year of Magic J Finals against MJ of the Bulls, Mike Dunleavy was the Lakers coach. What a blunder!!! I won't even go with the Clippers meltdown under Dunleavy as a Coach and a GM. He is being considered there as a nuisance candidate for that position. Hell, I would go for Shaw offer him the position in a blindfolded posture, just to get out of this Dunleavy consideration. Mike Dunleavy as a Coach is an equivalent of another round with Smush Parker as the next Laker PG.

Kobe is untouchable - as he should be. He is a Laker-Lifer, like West, like Elgin, like Magic, like Coop.

Besides, he is still arguably the best player in the game. He's the best closer in the game. He's the biggest star in the game.

The Lakers are entering a new TV mega-deal, which will fill the Buss family coffers for decades, enabling them to keep the team well-stocked of great players much like the YES Network has done for the Yankees.

Kobe isn't the player he once was, but he has the basketball mind and incredible work ethic to meld his game from an all-time scorer into more of a distributor, setting the table for his teammates to get easy baskets and controlling the flow of the game.

The problem wasn't Kobe, but he couldn't do it alone. His teammates let him down to varying degree - and there is NO ONE in the league that wants to win more than Kobe.

Kobe needs a premiere player to join him. Drew is becoming that but he's only 23 still (incredibly, for all the experience he already has). The Lakers also need speed and perimeter shot makers to help spread the floor for the bigs.

No, the solution isn't dumping Kobe, it's putting a package together of some supporting players and bringing back a co-star, one to put at his side.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

MM: All looks good on the login front, personally I like this new system and if it keeps out the idiots then all the better.

The Priest never advocated trading Kobe or Bynum or Gasol. Dr. Buss you know the man who owns the lakers stated that this team was the most talented team across the board that he has ever had. See attacking the Priest is just attacking the messenger. Dr. Buss made those comments. Therefore, getting swept and not only getting swept in the 2nd round but a historic beat down by the mavs was
unacceptable. This team was mismanaged and eventually the out of control ego of kobe sank this ship. You put a LBJ on this team and lakers would have won at least 70 games and would still be playing. Remember it was LBJ on a scrub cavs team that won 67 games. Ditto for DWADE.

I read this morning that the interest in Dunleavy is more one-sided, apparently Dunleavy wants the job more than the Lakers want him:

"Mike Dunleavy is also considered a candidate, but one source cautioned that his interest in the job may be greater than the Lakers' interest in him. "

Great breakdown about Adelman in the article, too.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/sam_amick/05/14/coaching.searches/
"Kings fans who wonder if Adelman would dare to join the dark side in Los Angeles (see Lakers playoff heartbreaks in 2000, 2001, and 2002) should remember the relevant storyline, as he was shown the door by co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof in 2006 and surely lost those loyalties as a result. What's more, he has extensive personal ties in Southern California.

Adelman was born in the town of Lynwood, went to St. Pius X High School in Downey, then played his collegiate basketball at Loyola University (now Loyola Marymount) in Los Angeles. He was drafted by the then-San Diego Rockets and spent his first two seasons with them.

His offensive mind has been respected around the league for decades, and his most recent job did nothing to change that reputation. Despite playing without Yao Ming for all but five games, the roster which produced no All-Stars other than Yao finished third in the league in scoring (105.9 points per game) and had the best record among the league's 14 non-playoff teams (43-39).

A disconnect between Adelman and the Rockets' ownership and front office had everything to do with his dismissal, as did the coach's resistance to front office urgings to make unwanted additions to his coaching staff. Nonetheless, his lead assistant coach, Elston Turner, told SI.com last week the Rockets' decision not to offer a new contract did little to change the feelings among the coaching staff that this was a job well done.

"We put a lot into it, and we made something out of a year that could've been disastrous, and we're proud of that," said Turner, Adelman's defensive coordinator who has been with him for 11 years in Portland, Sacramento and Houston. "Here we are with our superstar playing five games in the last two years, and when he did play he was on a minute restriction (because of his foot injury). There was a lot of stuff we had to take in as coaches.

"We did that, were just starting to jell, getting chemistry, players playing well. Bottom line is it's just disappointing to lose your job when you're on the upswing...We did the best we could, and that has been echoed throughout the league and throughout the basketball family."

As irony would have it, Turner has ties to two Lakers candidates. He was on Dunleavy's staff in Portland before coming to Sacramento.

It should also be noted what transpired in Sacramento after Adelman's departure: the Kings have a winning percentage of .334 in the five seasons since he left (137-273) and no playoff appearances after posting a mark of .633 in eight seasons with him (395-229) and playing in the postseason throughout his tenure. Houston can only hope the trend doesn't continue there, as Adelman had the best winning percentage in franchise history (.588, with a record of 193-135) in his four seasons with the Rockets."


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Edwin,

Hey, I wasn't promoting MD as the next coach, just putting out there more information about him for anyone who might not be as familiar with him as you and others.

I've already said my first choice is Adelman and unbelievably, Buss and the Lakers still haven't contacted me to discuss it. Guess they're waiting until they narrow it down further...
;)

Art: "I've already said my first choice is Adelman and unbelievably, Buss and the Lakers still haven't contacted me to discuss it. Guess they're waiting until they narrow it down further..."
-
Well you did call it before anyone else did, maybe they read the blog and saw your post. lol


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Bynum needs to be the center piece of the Lakers from now on. Obviously kobe is done. My goodness, if kobe couldn't shake a 38 year old old, almost a senior citizen jason kidd in the 4th, how lower can he go. The Priest would drop 20 on Kidd's head with ease after working 12 hours at the office. You know the end is near when you cannot drive pass the 'defensive specialist' Jason Kidd. HAHAHAHAHA. Are you kidding me? And yall want compare Kobe to Jordan? I knew jordan fell off his rocking chair laughing. Listen that was not the performance of a black mamba but a non venomous water snake.

JASON KIDD? I mean if the nba had from 1st to 100th all defensive teams Kidd would not be on any of those. It is ridiculous and kind of sad really. i have watched the decline of kobe from his dominance to now not able to drive pass grandpa Kidd. What coach in his right mind defensive strategy would be to put his oldest, slowest, and flat footedness against the Mamba? hahahahahaha! You better don't let fisher go because he will lock kobe down whenever lakers have to face fisher's new team. LOL.

Island Priest,

Is it not enough to read and re-read what Hobbit has told you? To continue insisting ur views is a pure waste of our time on our part. We could have scrolled it but one last attempt on my part to tell u in a mild manner, that you're here to promote yourself by being a Kobesbad poster. It is another style of catering one's attention.

As I mentioned before, the B + is more a reflection of Kobe's potential than his play. If anyone else played like him, they would've gotten A's. But the grades are based on potential too. There's no skipping around the fact that his output was lower than in other seasons. Surely injuries has things to do with it. But it goes to show that even if the intentions were good, the management of his injuries didn't yield the best result possible

Listen eddie the reason most of my posts were kobecentric was because Medina was grading Kobe for this season. I don't hate kobe but only hate Big Baby, Pierce, rondo and garnett. Hopefully, medina will now grade Fisher so I can once again provide fair and unbiased grading. But the Priest is going to purchase a 6 pack of Guinness (the real ones from Ireland and not that draft sheet yall buy at Publix) and head to the beach for a few hours. Medina stop stalling and grade Fisher. It will be entertaining. See ya.

@ MM - "As I mentioned before, the B + is more a reflection of Kobe's potential than his play."


MM,

I wish you had been all of my teachers when I was in school, I would have gotten straight A's without even trying, based on my potential.


In the world of business, potential gets you hired, performance get you raises and promotions. And no matter how much potential one has, if they don't produce the deisred results, well, you know how it ends.

Lol, island priest you are pretty stupid.

"It's tough some days scrolling past the multiple repetitious hit jobs."

Posted by: CornerJ | May 14, 2011 at 08:29 AM

__________

Honestly: how tough can it really be?

C-

Kobe's leadership this year sucked.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

One of the problems with having Laker fans evaluate Kobe is that, because of his stellar past accomplishments, we too easily lose objectivity in the present.

In this year’s playoffs Kobe had a 44% shooting percentage, had a little over 3 assists and 3 rebounds per game, and made 29% of his threes (not an aberration for him; he shot only 32% during the regular season). And (just like the rest of the team), he got badly torched by the Mavs beyond the arc.

Who else would get as high as a B+ for a season capped off by such a performance? We’re seeing Kobe’s game with our heart instead of our eyes. (And no, saying so doesn’t make me a “troll,” so kindly lower those pitchforks.)

@Art - I didn't give Kobe the B + based on potential. I gave him a B+ because his play didn't match it. I don't fault the effort and I know the injuries. All I'm saying is if the league and Laker fans will rightfully laud him as one of the best if not the best, then that's the standard that he'll be critiqued. He obviously was not the best player in the league this year.

Jon K - Wow that's a little harsh don't you think?

MM,

No biggee, it's all kinda subjective anyway.

Besides, I gave all the Lakers and F this year, for failing to complete the assignment.

Kobe the greatest?
Please.
Kobe hasn't even been the best player in the last games he played in either of the past two years.
This year, he got swept by a team that featured such stellar players as a washed up Peja Stojakovic, a center in Tyson Chandler who was giving away 55 pounds to Andrew Bynum, and a midget point guard named Jose (perhaps pronounced as "whose-he?") Berea, whose Curly Neal dribble penetration frustrated LA so bad he got Lakers thrown out of games THREE TIMES!
Kobe even got locked down by Jason Kidd, ferchrissakes, who is five years older, two inches shorter and nowhere near as athletic as Bryant. Bryant's scoring average during the playoffs was down by nearly 10 percent from what it had been during the extended garbage time that passes for the regular season. So much for clutch performances. With the Lakers in possession and up by a point with 20 seconds to go, Kobe threw the ball away in Game One's 2-point loss (then followed that up by clanking a 25-footer with 3 seconds to go). He shot 1-4 in the fourth quarter of the Game Two loss. He was 0-4 in the last 3 minutes of a must-have Game Three. He was 2-6 in Game Four's crunch time, and led the team with five turnovers.
He choked. Just like he did in last year's Game Seven.
What's more, while his on-ball defense remains formidable, his team defense has become ordinary at best. His defensive rotations to the 3-point line were consistently late. He looked like who he has become - a guy who no longer goes to practice.
You've go to give Sir Charles Barkley credit for being right when everyone thought he was hallucinating. Barkley predicted that Dirk Nowizki would outplay Bryant. That turned out to be an understatement. Kobe outscored Nowitzki in only the first game - a game he threw away with his turnover and unnecessary hero 3-point miss.
Kobe comes up big in regular season games that don't mean much. But look at his playoff record in the clutch. He shoots them out of games as often as he wins them. And it's getting worse.
If Bryant and his woeful 6-for-24 performance hadn't gotten bailed out by his teammates last year during the Lakers' miracle comeback against Boston, he would have gotten his butt kicked then, too.
Do you really think Jordan would have sucked like that in four straight playoff games? You really think Jordan would let his team get so unglued that players would be taking wild swings on opponents? I think not.
Kobe the greatest?
Please!
Michael Jordan ain't got nothing to worry about.

B- is a fair grade because of Kobes poor shooting percentage vs good teams. And he is way to slow to guard anyone. 1st team all NBA should have been D Wade. And 1st team defensive is a joke. Trade him before his game falls apart within 2 years.

KOBE THE BEST PLAIN AND SIMPLE NOW LETS HOPE EVERYBODY ON THE LAKERS HAVE THIER SURGURIES NOW AND DONT WAIT TILL AUGUST AND CANT MAKE THE FIRST GAME

I give Kobe a B. He is still one of the top 10 players going today.

I'll put Kobe next to Jordan when he wins a ring with Mo Williams, something Lebron couldn't do. Until that happens please take Phil's advice and leave Jordan out of this.

kobe's shooting performance A. His team performance F. Averages out to a C. If he would just change his mindset of "I'm number 1, Pau is number 2", it will be Laker championships until he retires.


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