This is probably the best I've played in a while.
I've had years the last few years where I've felt pretty good but we kept my minutes down so the numbers didn't look the same, but this year I feel pretty good.
Click for Skip's reaction to Kobe's quote
For those who want to be spared of Skip's ramblings he makes 2 major points.
1) That Kobe being on a .500 team should disqualify him from playing at a higher level.
2) That Kobe should know better as a leader, than to isolate his play aside from his struggling teammates.
The reason I bring this up is because Im pretty sure most of us know that no individual should be held fully responsible for his teams ultimate level of play, and with Kobe playing his best ball in years in seems counter-intuitive to think hes the one holding the team back, yet there are many who claim otherwise. So something isn't adding up.
From what I've seen, the anti-Kobe establishment argues that Kobe's own individual brilliance somehow detracts from his teammates chances to shine. But that would be arguing that a 5x Champ has somehow lost his zen, knowing what it takes to win and utilizing the talent alongside him.
Which if you've listened to Kobe over the years, he makes it abundantly clear that he is all about sacrifices. To his development, his numbers, accolades etc... He wants us to know this, why would he all of sudden prioritize his own play above the teams, when it gos against his entire philosophy?
The more analytical take is that Kobe's selfishness takes away from certain key players (Dwight, Pau, Nash) but hes been without Nash most of the year, Pau has clearly been hindered with his role and health, and Dwight was scheduled to make his season debut around this time of the season. Who exactly should he have deferred to?
Lets consider some facts revolving around Kobe's 2nd in Command for most of the year, Dwight:
Dwight has had 285 Post Up attempts, thats 46.8% of his offense. He has turned the ball over on roughly 20% of those opportunities. So yes hes scoring on 49% of the shot attempts he gets, which is pretty good. But overall hes only scoring on 43.9% of those. You really want him taking more possessions from Kobe?
Synergy logs him at .79Pts Per Possession. So giving Dwight the ball hasn't really worked out for the Lakers. Another point people miss, Kobe does his chucking when Dwight is on the bench.
Kobes Stats Per-36 Minutes
With Dwight: 19.1FGA - 7.2FTA
W/Out Dwight: 24.7FGA - 10.2FTA
An interesting trend is that the Kobe centric offense without Dwight(+9.4) has actually fared better than lineups that include Dwight+Kobe(+3). The Dwight centered offenses without Kobe on the floor however have been downright dreadful (-11PTS)
Isn't it possible that these players have needed Kobe to play his current style?
I only agree that Nash should become a bigger part of the offense, and I think we are already beginning to see that. And people should keep in mind that D'Antoni is purposely playing Kobe+Nash almost extensively right now. Not sure if thats to force start chemistry the way the Rockets did with Lin+Harden or if they truly dont see the value in having Kobe and Nash split minutes without each other.