At this point of the season the Los Angeles Lakers have been a major disappointment. One player who has played exceptionally well during this season has been Kobe Bryant. Bryant is currently averaging 29.2 points per game while shooting 49% from the field and 39% from the three point line; both very impressive for a high-volume perimeter player.
As we all know whenever a team is losing, the media starts searching for clues why and how. ESPN has been the main culprit of this, overly expressing the stat that whenever Bryant scores more than 30 points, the team is 1-10. That is a very vague and attention grabbing statement.
Most people who don’t know basketball take that stat and will say “Kobe is a ball hog or he’s not giving his teammates a chance to shoot.” It is a simple case of lazy journalism, because we all know that basketball is won or lost as a team not an individual.
In a lot of cases this year Bryant has had to shoot more times than not because his team hasn’t performed well. If the team’s offense is stalling it is Bryant’s job kick start it. If the team is losing in a game it is Bryant’s responsibility to try and bring them back especially if others aren’t playing well.
ESPN loves selling stories and persuading the casual fan to believe what they want them to believe. It is easier to blame the Lakers woes on Kobe’s shooting, rather than point out transition defense or lack of overall team quickness, because casual fans don’t want in-depth analysis, they want basics. The stat they have created in this situation is unfair and unjust.
If Bryant was shooting 42% from the field, then this stat would have more backing behind it but that’s simply not the case. The Lakers struggles come from multiple situations taking place and none of them are Bryant’s scoring; in a lot of the games if it wasn’t for Bryant the team would’ve gotten blown out.
The game of basketball is won by playing defense and executing efficiently on offense. Whether one player scores over 30 points or not that doesn’t tell the story of a whole game.
ESPN and other outlets have to be more responsible in the stats they report. I understand they’re in the business of selling story lines but they should also tell the whole story so that people are well-informed.