Kobe Bryant Must Take Responsibility For Offensive Shortcomings, Be a Leader


After a difficult start, Kobe Bryant must adjust and guide the Los AngelesLakers

More from Los Angeles Lakers

Through two games, the outlook on the Los Angeles Lakers’ is already bleak. After back-to-back double-digit losses to the Rockets and Suns, it is apparent that the Lakers will not be competitive this year. However, judging by Kobe Bryant’s postgame comments, he believes this team is a couple of offensive adjustments away from being a contender.

Following the loss to the Suns, Kobe’s frustration with a depleted roster has already come to a boil. The target of Kobe’s frustration was first year Laker, Jeremy Lin. Despite the fact that Lin is still acclimating himself to a new team, new system, new city and playing with Kobe, that didn’t stop him from lashing out against Lin.

"Via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation“You got to run the offense. I’m telling you to run the offense and you go to do it.”"

Although Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers should be frustrated with the stagnancy of the offense, there is no reason for him to deflect blame and criticism towards a new teammate.

If anything, Kobe has been one of the largest reasons for the ineffective offense. After two games, Kobe has lived up to the ball-stopper reputation that he has followed him over the years, by averaging eight pull-up jumpers, and only converting 33.3 percent of them.

If anything, Kobe has been one of the largest reasons for the ineffective offense

But even when Kobe Bryant is putting the ball on the floor, he is ineffective in getting himself or the team points. For instance, Bryant drives a team-high nine times per game, but he only scores 7.5 points per game on his drives, and the team as whole scores only 10 points per game on Bryant’s drives.

On the other hand, Lin, the player who Kobe believes is not running the offense, is creating nine points per game for the Lakers off of drives, while only attacking the basket 5.5 times per game.

Some of the offense struggles and Kobe Bryant’s individual struggles can be attributed to the aforementioned lack of viable offensive options, it’s not like Kobe is without any options. Over the course of their careers Lin and Carlos Boozer have demonstrated in the past their ability to score in bunches, and even when they’re not lighting up the scoreboard they are still capable of easily scoring in double figures every night. Still, for whatever reason, Bryant chooses not to utilize his teammates despite being double and triple teamed on occasion. 

Live Feed

History outlines a bleak future for Christian Wood on the Lakers
History outlines a bleak future for Christian Wood on the Lakers /

Lake Show Life

  • The dream starting 5 for the Lakers 5 years from nowLake Show Life
  • Battle For Banner 18: Will Boston Celtics battle historical foe in 2024 Finals?Hardwood Houdini
  • The "what if" moment that changed every NBA team foreverHoops Habit
  • Did Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets break Anthony Davis?Nugg Love
  • NBA Christmas Day games: Full schedule and how to watchFanSided
  • As their largest offensive threat, Kobe Bryant has the ball in his hands often, resulting in his 39.3 usage percentage. And even though he takes up so much of the offensive possessions, he only averages 20 passes per game, with the team averaging only 5.5 points off of Bryant’s assists.

    In comparison, Jeremy Lin is a significantly smaller part of the offense, with a usage percentage of 16.9. However, that doesn’t stop Lin from averaging 42 passes per game, with the team is scoring eight points off of his assists–showing a greater effectiveness when initiates offense.

    In essence, the guy that Kobe Bryant is accusing of not running the offense is actually maximizing the few opportunities he gets to run the offense [as a result of Kobe] and allowing the team to score more efficiently than when Bryant has the ball.

    There is no doubting that Kobe Bryant still is the best scorer on the Lakers, and he should be the primary option late in games, but his role is more than just a scorer. In the midst of his 19th season, Bryant also needs to be the leader on a Lakers team that currently lacks an identity.

    Rather than unfairly demanding a guy who has played two games in a Lakers uniform to “run the offense,” Kobe Bryant should put the responsibility on his shoulders and trust his teammates instead of chucking up shots to seemingly prove that he still has the ability to singlehandedly will a team to victory at age 36.

    More from Sir Charles In Charge