Found January 30, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
Midway through his 17th season, has Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant reinvented himself as a point guard? Over the past three games, Bryant has led to the Lakers to a three-game winning streak, dishing 39 assists while averaging just 16.3 points a game. Bryant's new style of play is the key to turning may help his team's dismal 20-25 start to the season. Is this pass-first Kobe Bryant nothing but a phase or is he here to stay? "When I focus in on something, I become obsessed about it. I want to be perfect at it. It's my personality," Bryant said. "If I was to be a point guard, I'd obsess over it and I wouldn't stop until I got it absolutely right." Is playmaking his new obsession? "Can't you tell?" asked Bryant. If you were to ask some former Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal perhaps, Bryant's singular focus can get in the way of the team concept. What if Bryant's compulsion is the team concept? Over in the other locker room at Staples Center, Chris Paul averages 9.7 assists nightly. Bryant's recent 13 a game would lead the league ahead of the now-injured Rajon Rondo's 11.1. "What do you think I'm going to stand here and say I wasn't going to be the best," said Bryant about where he'd rank as a point guard. Bryant has noticed the impact he's having on his teammates. "You see everybody else gain confidence from playing well off of it - so first and foremost that's what I enjoy," said Bryant. "Secondly, because most of you guys in the media thought I couldn't do it, so it's pretty funny." The biggest criticism of Bryant's career has been ball-hogging, even in winning five titles. Maybe now in his later days, Bryant's drive will be to rewrite the book. The Lakers need him to sustain the pass-first mindset if they want to survive the season. "I can do it. I'm like Neo . . . ," said Bryant, referring to the Keanu Reeves character from "The Matrix." Does Bryant love passing now, like he has always loved scoring? "I enjoy doing it. I prepare for each game. I look strategically at where defenses are going to be coming from and how to put guys in the right place to be successful," Bryant said. "My idol was Magic (Johnson) growing up." The sample size is too small to draw any conclusions, but the Lakers have been a notably better team over the last three games. With 37 games left in the season, the margin for error is slim, but the Lakers may still salvage this thing. In Tuesday night's 111-106 victory over the New Orleans Hornets, Bryant's 11th assist came with 1:44 left in the game to Earl Clark with the Hornets down by just a point. Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison hit the next two field goals for the Lakers. It wasn't until the final seconds when Bryant hit a pair of free throws, with the game already in hand. Bryant needs to embrace the notion that he can be the best closer in the game with the pass instead of the shot. Maybe he finally has. -Eric Pincus

Appreciating all of Kobe Bryant's milestones

If you were to quickly scan Kobe Bryant’s page, three things would quickly jump out at you. Ha ha. He looks funny with a fro. Wow, he’s played for a LONG time. Depending on the hour, his “All-Time Fan Ranking” on the site fluctuates between 95th and 120th. That last part jumps out at me the most. By almost any possible metric, Kobe Bryant is the...

Bryant keeps passing; Lakers keep winning

LOS ANGELES -- The last time the Los Angeles Lakers squared off with the New Orleans Hornets, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to reach the 30,000-point mark for a career. Back in those early-December days, Kobe the Scorer was still on display. These days, Kobe the Passer is in full effect. Any surprise the Lakers appear to be turning things around? Los Angeles used...

New Kobe. New Lakers.

We all know Kobe Bryant is arguably the most competitive and passionate player the game of basketball has ever seen. To him, success is only measured in championships, and there's no such thing as 2nd best. In the past 2 games, Bryant reminded everyone just how much he puts winning above everything. The Lakers had lost 3 straight games on the road catapulted by a disappointing...

Dwight Howard loves Kobe Bryant being confrontational

The Los Angeles Lakers had a team meeting last week where Kobe Bryant reportedly confronted Dwight Howard to ask if the big man did not like playing with him. The team lost its first game after the meeting, but they have won two in a row since then, including a victory over the defending Western Conference champion Thunder on Sunday. Howard must be in a good mood since then, because...

Dwight Howard blows dunk against Hornets

It’s bad enough that the L.A. Lakers are having one of the most miserable seasons after beginning with such high expectations. Now it seems as though the simple things aren’t even working. Check out Dwight Howard as he takes a nice pass from Kobe Bryant and completely muffs the dunk against the Hornets Tuesday night. [...]

Lakers Stock Watch: 1/21 – 1/27

Image Credit: Noah Graham | Getty ImagesAre the real Los Angeles Lakers finally here? Well, they might just be.Despite a slow start, with losses to Chicago and Memphis, the Lakers finished the week winning two straight games against Utah and Oklahoma City, both in promising fashion.‘Shooting guard-turned-point guard’ Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to two straight wins over legitimate...

Wolves have lost 17 straight games to Lakers

The start of their Grammys road trip provided anything but harmony for the Los Angeles Lakers.Facing their first opportunity to bounce back from a loss since Kobe Bryant turned facilitator and with Dwight Howard injured again, the Lakers try to regroup Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.During its three-game homestand, all finally seemed right for Los Angeles (20-26...

Lakers' stars getting on the same page

Amazing what two victories can do for a team. They were enough for Dwight Howard to give a glowing update of his relationship with Kobe Bryant. "I'm happy that me and Kobe are getting on the same page. In order for us to win, me and him have to always be together on the same page," he said after Lakers practice Monday. "We have to really lead this team. That...

Pau Gasol pissed again over benching

The Los Angeles Lakers won their third-straight game on Tuesday by beating the New Orleans Hornets 111-106, but one of their key players is once again upset he was benched.    

Lakers nearly waste good work vs Hornets

LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers won their third in a row, beating the New Orleans Hornets, 111-106. There's no arguing that this a much better Laker team than it was just six days ago, with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash switching roles and Dwight Howard playing with a renewed enthusiasm. However, it also can't be argued that this team still has quite a ways to go in order to turn...

Lakers-Timberwolves Preview

The start of their Grammys road trip provided anything but harmony for the Los Angeles Lakers. Facing their first opportunity to bounce back from a loss since Kobe Bryant turned facilitator and with Dwight Howard injured again, the Lakers try to regroup Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. During its three-game homestand, all finally seemed right for Los Angeles (20...

Dwight Howard says he and Kobe on same page now

The Lakers are on a three-game win streak. Usually this would not be much cause for celebration or be newsworthy at all. The struggles that Los Angeles has gone through this season have been a complete surprise, considering the talent level, and it is shocking to think a team with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol would miss the Playoffs. A three-game win streak...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.