Los Angeles Lakers: It’s Time For Kobe Bryant To Accept A Bench Role


It’s time for Kobe Bryant to take a bench role, in the best interest of the development of the Los Angeles Lakers

I am a fan. A huge fan at that. Last week, he played against my Brooklyn Nets and I wore a Kobe Bryant jersey under my Nets gear.

I was not ashamed as this was my first time seeing him play live. I was excited and by the crowds reaction in BROOKLYN – they were excited.  His pre-game introduction drew the largest ovation of any player (Nets included) and you just knew we were in the presence of greatness.


Kobe Bryant is not the same player he was three years ago, heck he is not the same player he was last year but this is Kobe and we have come to expect the impossible, but what happens when he can no longer do the impossible?

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In my opinion, he is still one of, if not the most, feared player in the NBA but with the Los Angeles Lakers going through a youth movement, you must ask yourself if it is wise for him to still be the focal point of the team?

Through the first eight games of the season, Byrant has averaged 17 points on 16 shots in 30 minutes per game. This are unacceptable numbers for the Lakers and Kobe, as their record has indicated with a 1-7 start to the season.

Bryant has stated that the younger guys need to be more assertive but the truth of the reality is they are either star struck or just plain scared to mess up in his presence, which has and will continue to hinder the growth of the team. Bryon Scott must make the toughest decision any coach has to make in regards to his team. He must pair Bryant with the second unit – or else.

Nick Young, Lou Williams, Metta World Peace and Brandon Bass are all veterans that have paid their dues in the league, but think what that second unit could do if you add Kobe to the mix. Williams at the point, Young at the 2, Kobe at the 3 with World Peace and Bass in the frontcourt. It has not been the Lakers starting unit that has caused issues, it has been the second unit.

D’Angelo Russell has been timid on the court with Bryant playing alongside of him. Jordan Clarkson tries to be the Kobe-clone too hard and Roy Hibbert has not seen the ball enough in the low post to get anything going.

Not all the blame falls on Bryant’s shoulders, but as a veteran he must take the time to look in the mirror and ask himself if he’s really helping or hurting this team. With Bryant coming off the bench, it will give an opportunity for Clarkson and Russell to feel each other out as they will be the building blocks for the future along with Julius Randle. Randle has the potential to average 20/10 but with Bryant taking so many shots and Russell still trying to find a rhythm, it has hindered Randle’s development.

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I understand how an athletes ego can blind them but if your goal is to win for the team and not for individual purposes, then a sacrifice must be made. Bryant must go to Scott or vice versa and say “let the young guys have this. I will lead the second unit.”

If Kobe Bryant wants to add more hardware to his mantle, Sixth Man of the Year has a nice ring to it.