The Los Angeles Lakers are 7-2 in their last nine games and the media has attributed the recent success of the team to Kobe Bryant assuming the role of a distributor, rather than a scorer. However, league MVP LeBron James does not buy the notion of Bryant being a pass-first player.
After the Miami Heat obliterated the Los Angeles Clippers on their home floor last night, the media asked James about the upcoming challenge on Sunday, as the Lakers are scheduled to pay the champions a visit. When he was asked whether he is a believer when it comes to Bryant and his new ways, James spread a laugh across the locker room:
“Do I buy that? No. He told you all before, he’s a scorer, he’s said it everyday – I’m a scorer, this is what I do. So I don’t buy the distr- no. You guys buy it though. I see how you are all Kobe 49 assists in 4 games, whatever, you guys go crazy about that. I don’t buy it though, he’s a scorer. He told you all that.”
While James isn’t buying the idea, it is hard to argue that the Lakers are better when Kobe is making plays for others. At the beginning of the team’s recent stretch, Bryant recorded back-to-back games with 14 assists, while taking less shots himself. He is also doing a great job rebounding the ball, as he is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game in the last nine games. Additionally, it has been well recorded that the Lakers have a horrible record when Bryant has big scoring nights.
In the Lakers’ last nine games, Kobe has only taken 20 or more shots in only two meetings. However, some of James’ skepticism proved to be accurate, as Bryant had 0 assists in Thursday’s loss to the Boston Celtics.
What do you think? Do you buy Kobe Bryant as a distributing guard, or is it only a matter of time before the Black Mamba starts jacking up 20 or 30 shots a game? Let us know in the comment section below.