Wednesday 24th July 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Kobe Bryant Hell-Bent on Dooming Lakers

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant says a lot of things – being a Tinseltown basketball personality, they tend to. And recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the Mamba’s future, at 37.

Kobe’s been nothing but a detractor for the Lakers this year, and it pains me to say that, given that I wear the number 24 on-court because of him; I’m a big Kobe fan. His relentlessness is what attracts people, but they say your greatest weakness is an excess of your greatest strength, and this is exactly the case with Kobe. Kobe himself appeared very harsh on himself after a 3-of-15 shooting night against Dallas, saying “I’m the 200th best player in the league right now. I freaking suck.” Yeah, you do, Kobe. And worse than you think – per FiveThirtyEight, you’ve slipped to 468th in the NBA, based off your play right now. Betway allows you to wager on games. But it’s not in your best interests to bet for the Lakers to win any game right now. They are pretty much never a favorite heading into match-ups.

If we start to piece together what Bryant says and does, as opposed to mindlessly fawning over his every word, we can see a few things. Here’s the facts. He’s set to take up 37.5% of the Lakers’ salary cap this year. He’s ranked 468th in the NBA. He’s confirmed that he’s not playing for any other team as long as he’s in the NBA, a month ago stating “I’m a Laker, man. I’m a Laker for better or worse.” He’s also not made a decision as to whether he’ll retire at the end of the year.

What I’m seeing here, is a man who’s too arrogant to take a step back on the court or to take a pay cut to help his team, and is not clear at all as to what he’ll do afterwards, thus leaving the Lakers in complete limbo as to what they can do going into the future. It’s no surprise they’re bottom of the league. While I admire the job that the Lakers’ administration has done, building a bright young core led by Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, Kobe NEEDS to go. He’s leeching precious cap room, and most importantly, he’s an incredibly negative impact on the court right now.

We need to stop giving Kobe a break on the basis of his past achievements. Because the Lakers pay him to do work going into the future, and in the present, he’s not good. He’s not even mediocre. He’s nowhere in the same postcode as bad. He’s absolutely shocking. To add insult to injury, they’ve given him a max contract!

Kobe, if you really do “bleed purple and gold” like you say you do, you’ll make the right decisions by the team. Not by you. What that means is taking a step back on the court, becoming more assist and spot-up focused, like we know you can be. It means taking a pay cut to help the Lakers stay financially flexible, especially going into a new CBA. What that’ll do, is send a message to other free agents that the Lakers mean business. Markets don’t mean anything anymore with the new TV rights deal, so LA needs to become relevant again by doing what they do best – winning. I don’t think Kobe should retire – he has invaluable experience for a young group that WILL experience growing pains. But he needs to understand that leadership is about letting others blossom, not jacking up shots for the sake of it.

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