I have the day off, recovering from a trip back East with the Lakers and old age.
But I find myself writing because I cannot believe the idiotic things being written about Kobe Bryant.
Now I know what you are thinking: The guy really does need a rest if he’s defending Kobe Bryant.
But ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Fox’s Jason Whitlock have done Kobe a disservice, both coming to the conclusion that Kobe is the reason for the Lakers disappointing everyone this season.
Without Kobe being Kobe this season, the Lakers might as well make like the NHL and disappear.
Kobe is the only one who has kept the Lakers afloat this season, with consistent and sensational play for a guy who should be slowing down.
One thing became very clear while travelling with the Lakers: If Kobe doesn’t score, the Lakers don’t score.
Dwight Howard is improving, and he’s more aggressive on offense, but he hasn’t shown the total game yet to carry the team through difficult times.
Whitlock makes an argument that suggests he has not watched the Lakers play this season but is writing off history and preconceived notions.
Whitlock writes: “The wrong player is driving the Lakers,” while suggesting it should be Howard.
Whitlock writes a lot of compelling and interesting columns. Apparently an occasional stinker as well.
Howard is the wrong player to drive the Lakers at this time, and while a coach would like to see the ball go through the big guy, who is still best at putting it in the basket?
Broussard says Kobe is shooting too much and cites an unnamed general manager, scout and assistant coach who agree with him. How convenient.
Why does a writer need unnamed basketball experts to agree with him? Did anyone disagree with him? Isn’t his own misguided opinion enough to stand on its own?
Kobe is the Ball Hog. Always has been, but who else do you want holding the ball with this wretched group? Howard? Does he make the free throws?
Would you rather have Kobe play the role of facilitator?
Broussard cites statistics to back up what he thinks and what his anonymous sources told him; the great thing about stats is they can tell whatever story you like.
I prefer the eye test. I watched Kobe closely back East and usually have no problem finding fault with him. And no problem writing about all he’s done wrong.
But if Kobe’s ego was the big problem as Whitlock wrote, the Lakers’ situation would even be more chaotic. Instead of ranting and raving about everything that has gone wrong because it hurts his chances of winning again, he’s tried to remain solid as a believer in the team.