By Javier Rodriguez |Staff Writer|
Most recently named the 40th best player currently in the NBA by ESPN, Bryant is proving that low rating wrong by leading in NBA scoring as he reaches 32,001 career points, which makes him about 290 points away from Michael Jordan’s career points (32,292).
Skeptics are quick to doubt Bryant’s ability. However, Bryant lets the negative talk fuel his drive and ambition.
Maybe he wasn’t at his best during Friday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs when the Lakers lost 80-93. Kobe only scored nine points during the game, shooting 1 for 14. This is not the Bryant fans are used to seeing.
As for the Lakers, that game brought them only one loss away from their worst start in franchise history out of 10 games.
There wasn’t much Bryant could offer as to why he played so poorly that night, other than he was just tired and beat.
As he met with reporters post-game, Bryant had little to say, but when pressed for a better explanation on why he played so poorly, Bryant answered, “Body just won’t respond when you’re sick and you’re used to being able to fight through those things. It just helps me really remember exactly what I’m facing.”
Fans have seen Bryant play through plenty of illnesses and injuries. He usually declines to take a sick day and his performance rarely drops to the level they saw at Friday’s game.
Bryant didn’t even make a basket until an 18 foot turn-around from the left side with 10:59 left to play. At that time he was zero for 10.
Scott continued, “I think if you’re around the business long enough, you’re pretty much going to see everything.”
If Kobe fans wanted to see everything, they sure did see it on Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
Shortly after former Lakers player Shaquille O’ Neal and Bryant shook hands and shared a friendly hug, Bryant went to work, scoring 44 points. While the Lakers still lost, Bryant played through a viral infection hitting 15 of 34 shots from the field (44.1 percent), and three of 12 from the 3 point line.
According to Lakers fan, and CSUSB Alum, Curtis J. Moore, “Kobe might sometimes be labeled a ball hog, but in the last two games, Kobe has played a better all-around team game, by trusting his teammates and sharing shot selections.”
Either way, Bryant fans will continue to love him, and Kobe haters will continue to hate him. And according to Moore, “Lakers fans have some great games in store.”