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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:39 am 
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(By John Denton Jan 16, 2007, 15:45) from hoopsworld

More, apparently, has changed about Kobe Bryant this season than just that awkward-looking No. 24 on his jersey.

Clearly, he’s not the same player he was last season when he poured in an almost unthinkable 81 points against the defenseless Toronto Raptors. Not the same player who averaged a career-best 35.4 points a game, the eighth highest in NBA history.

Not the same player who scored 50 points six times and 40 points 27 times.

And, as it turns out, that might be very good for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sure, the season is already 38 games old for the Los Angeles Lakers, but this message still comes across like a news alert: KOBE BRYANT IS PASSING THE BALL!!!

This is not to insinuate that Bryant was a selfish ballhog last season. Sure, he forced his share of shots, but too often his disengaged teammates were more than happy to pass him the ball and watch the show from afar. And what a show Bryant put on last season.

This year, less of Bryant has meant more of the Lakers. His scoring from last season (35.4) is down to 27.1 pp. this season in large part because he’s gone from taking 27.1 shots a game last season to just 19.7 shots this season.

And even though L.A. has been without standout forward Lamar Odom for more than a month because of a sprained knee ligament, it is an impressive 25-13 in the rugged Western Conference. Compare that to last year’s 21-17 record through 38 games and it’s easy to see this is a better Lakers team.

The reason why is because Bryant gets it. He’s sly like a fox in that he knows everything he does now will have an effect on the later. By later, we’re talking about the playoffs. And that stage, the one that stretches all the way deep into June, is the one that hardly ever strays far from Bryant’s focus.

“It’s more fun playing this way because I’m seeing my guys them develop and gain some confidence along the way,” Bryant said. “And I know deep down that’s what’s going to help us get those tough playoff victories down the road.”

Lakers coach Phil Jackson often gets accused of riding the coattails of superstars Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant to his nine championships, but give him credit for the work he’s done reigning in Bryant’s legendary fire, something that’s nothing short of a miracle.

To get Bryant’s attention maybe all he had to do was flip on the DVD of last spring’s Game 7 meltdown against Phoenix. The Suns predictably got the ball out of Bryant’s hands by sending double-teams his way every play, and all he could do was watch as his scared-stiff teammates bricked one open shot after another. The final numbers weren’t pretty: 35.2 percent field goal shooting and 29.6 percent 3-point shooting and a 121-90 Lakers loss.

Now, Bryant’s assists are up one a game on average. His teammates are actually ready and seem to know what to do when the pass comes their way. Luke Walton and Brian Cook have improved their outside shots to the point where they can make foes pay when they double-team. In the past month alone, Smush Parker has scored 18 points in a quarter and 26 points in a game, serving as a legitimate No. 2 to Bryant’s dominant No. 1.

For further proof of Bryant’s progress, you have to look no further than the Lakers 124-118 overtime defeat of the Miami Heat Monday night. Bryant was badly outplayed on Christmas Day by the heir to his throne, Dwyane Wade, and you just had the feeling that Bryant would go back at the Heat star with guns blazin’ Monday night. Could another 60-point effort be in the works?

Instead of going back at Wade and ultimately out of the offense as Bryant had done so often in year’s past, he stayed remarkably calm. He was an efficient 11 of 24, scored his 25 points and had eight very important assists. Wade won the scoring battle (35-25), but Bryant won the war.

“Definitely, I’m trying to get others more involved,” Bryant said recently. “Last year was difficult because so many of the guys were still trying to get a grasp of the new (triangle) offense. Last year, I had to take on a big chunk of the scoring load. But this year, that’s not the case. There are some games where I have to take over, but more often I’m not needed to do that. I can create for others.”

Kobe Bryant: Creator for others? Get used to it, Lakers fans. Those days of scoring 81 points are over.

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Last edited by eizljay on Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:45 am 
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Nice read bro…

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:48 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
Nice read bro…


yeah bro. that post would answer a lot of questions from the haters hehehe

Last year was special in so many ways.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:53 am 
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eizljay wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
Nice read bro…


yeah bro. that post would answer a lot of questions from the haters hehehe

Last year was special in so many ways.



The haters?? Give them 4 years bro…they’re a little behind

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:53 am 
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I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:57 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
eizljay wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
Nice read bro…


yeah bro. that post would answer a lot of questions from the haters hehehe

Last year was special in so many ways.



The haters?? Give them 4 years bro…they’re a little behind


LOL, i think 5 to 6 bro. hehe

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:59 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


Probably still reading bro. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:00 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:03 am 
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rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


And the winner is, from the port of somewhere, bro rigor mortis hehe

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:04 am 
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rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...



Agreed pareng rigs…Magic Johnson is still # 1

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:04 am 
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eizljay wrote:
rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


And the winner is, from the port of somewhere, bro rigor mortis hehe



Pareng rigs bleeds purple and gold bro…he was referring to Magic

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:08 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
eizljay wrote:
rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


And the winner is, from the port of somewhere, bro rigor mortis hehe



Pareng rigs bleeds purple and gold bro…he was referring to Magic


yeah my bad. sorry bro rigs.

but KB24 don't suck, does he? :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:10 am 
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rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


Michael Jackson??? :shock: Thriller! Thriller night! Awooooooo! :lol:

Less of Kobe being a ball-hog and the rest of the crew being scared, the better it will be for my Lakers. A lot of people have stepped up and I must say, they are now a TEAM :twisted:


Last edited by Nomad on Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:11 am 
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pound4pound1 wrote:
eizljay wrote:
rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


And the winner is, from the port of somewhere, bro rigor mortis hehe



Pareng rigs bleeds purple and gold bro…he was referring to Magic


mga bro..haters are scared now..that was just a bait by the way pareng lbs you are right mj is for magic johnson.. :biglaugh: go kobe go


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:14 am 
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rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
eizljay wrote:
rigor wrote:
pound4pound1 wrote:
I wonder which KSP hater stumbles on this thread first


bryant sucks mj is still the number 1...


And the winner is, from the port of somewhere, bro rigor mortis hehe



Pareng rigs bleeds purple and gold bro…he was referring to Magic


mga bro..haters are scared now..that was just a bait by the way pareng lbs you are right mj is for magic johnson.. :biglaugh: go kobe go


you got me in there bro rigs. i realized you have the longest thread and the most popular thread on this side of the site.

i guess they're still digesting...

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