Here on this website we have tried to stay unbiased. If you are looking for an article that is unbiased you should consider scrolling down or checking your Facebook/Twitter again because this is about to get emotional. When I was just a small young lass, I became obsessed with Kobe Bryant, and his game. The things that he did on the basketball court was amazing in my eyes, and downright magical. I tried to base my playing style around him, meaning I rarely attempted to pass the ball and tried to improve my scoring statistics in any way imaginable. Kobe Bryant became a role model for me, despite his “affair,” my commitment to him has never strayed. Even though Kobe is a grandpa by NBA standards, he is still competing on an unbelievably high level, and is now starting to contribute to his team in different ways.
Kobe has been passing the ball. That is right, Kobe Bryant’s assist column no longer has a 1 or 0 in it. He is averaging more assists this season than he has since the 04-05 season. The Lakers have surrounded him with players that he feels comfortable passing to, and he is converting by attracting double teams and finding the open man. Until recently, Kobe Bryant’s success passing the ball hasn’t translated into wins for his team, however, the tide is changing for the Lakers, as they have won 12 of their last 17 and are just 2 ½ games behind the 8th place Rockets. In the month of February, Kobe Bryant posted averages of 23.9 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 6.7 RPG, statistics that earned him the Player of the Month.
I am not one of those Kobe Bryant fanatics that still thinks that he is the best player in the league, that torch was passed to Lebron James and even Kevin Durant a few years back. However, the argument can be made that within the NBA he is the most important player to his team. The Lakers success or lack thereof weighs heavily on his shoulders alone. In order for Kobe and the Lakers to continue their success, Kobe needs to continue to defer to his teammates while still getting his fair share of shot attempts. This new Kobe Bryant is showcasing how great of a player that he is, that he can adjust his playing style from primary scorer to pass first guard, in order to help his team get wins. Long story short, Kobe is not getting the credit that he deserves from the national media for changing his playing style for the sake of the team. It demonstrates his competitive nature and will to win despite his dip in scoring. Kobe Bryant is making the younger version of myself proud, and I may have to start passing the ball in pickup games at the Johnson Center in order to mimic his change of pace, but I doubt that will happen.
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