The struggling Los Angeles Lakers have been looking to Kobe Bryant to do an awful lot this season. On top of carrying the offense, Mike D’Antoni has now called on his 34-year-old guard to defend the opposing team’s best perimeter threat on a nightly basis.
Kobe is having a very impressive year for sure, but it’s a lot to ask of someone his age and with as much mileage as he has on his tires. Now, he’s calling on his teammates for a little help offensively. Via ESPN:
“I need some help offensively to save energy and not have to isolate and do things like that,” Bryant said. “I’m going to need some picks. I’m going to need to catch-and-shoot like I did in the fourth quarter a little bit to make my job a little easier. I think the first three quarters of me just standing around the perimeter, the defense is praying for that. We have to do some things to free me up and get me in open spaces, this way I can be more active on the defensive end of the floor.”
This is not something that we expect of Kobe Bryant, a traditional alpha dog personality.
If the Lakers are going to make a run at the playoffs, they will need a lot out of the Black Mamba. But he’s right; he can’t do it all himself. Playing isolation basketball is exhausting, and chasing around younger guards on the perimeter night in and night out probably doesn’t help keep the legs fresh.
-Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content
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