Is Kobe Bryant Going To Try To Do Too Much For The Lakers This Season?
Last night, Kobe Bryant started his 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers. That means that, for two decades now, Kobe has been the star of the show for one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. He’s used to having all eyes on him and, after 20 years, he’s gotten used to having the spotlight on him. It’s why Kobe—who was playing for the Lakers for the first time since last February when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury—didn’t hesitate to shoot and shoot again and shoot again when he took the floor at the Staples Center to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Kobe actually shot so much last night that some people wondered whether or not he realized how much he was shooting. He ended up scoring a team-high 24 points, but it required him taking 24 shots, 16 of which he missed. Additionally, Kobe fired up 13 three-pointers and knocked down just three of them and missed all five shots that he attempted during the fourth quarter of the game. It wasn’t his finest effort, and the Lakers ended up losing the game by a point after Kobe—amazingly—passed the ball to Lou Williams for the final shot of the game. And it begs the question: Is Kobe going to try to do too much for the Lakers this season?
The Lakers have a young team this year that includes first-round draft picks Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. They also have a cast of quality players like Williams, Roy Hibbert, and Nick Young, who are more than capable of shouldering the burden of scoring points. And yet, it appears as though Kobe is going to continue to do what he has always done for the Lakers, which is to say that he is going to fire away like he’s still a rookie. And that might not be the best thing for him or the Lakers.
It’s too early to overreact to what happened last night. Kobe is going to need to take time to adapt to not being the man in Laker Land anymore and that could take weeks, if not months. But at some point, he’s going to need to pass the torch and let some of his younger teammates shine. We already know what he can bring to the table if the Lakers absolutely need him to. Now it’s time to see what the players around him can do.