Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 9:40 am  |  14 responses

Kobe Bryant Gives Performance in Return an ‘F’ Grade

Looking hesitant, slow and rusty overall in his return to action after 8 months off, Kobe Bryant gave himself a harsh, failing grade after his first game back. Per the LA Daily News: “He didn’t score. Bryant mostly passed. He still played in the fourth quarter, but failed to close it. And after finishing with nine points on 2 of 9 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists and eight turnovers, Bryant graded his performance woefully short of the career-high 81 points he unleashed against the same team 7 1/2 years ago. ‘It’s an F,’ Bryant said. ‘For me, it’s an F.’ [...] ‘This is a complete failure to me,’ Bryant said. ‘I can run around for 28 minutes. But basketball wise it was a complete failure.’ [...] ‘It takes time. You have to get the game legs back and make proper reads,’ Bryant said. ‘The biggest thing for me is putting guys in a position to be successful. Then I can be a threat myself and be able to execute it if the defense gives me a shot. If I don’t, then I have to kick it to somebody else and knock down the shot.’ In this game, though, Bryant’s weaknesses didn’t entail just scrutinizing his shot selection. ‘The biggest thing is being responsible with the basketball,’ Bryant said. ‘When the ball is in your hands, you have to take care of it and make the right decisions and the smart play.’ Meanwhile, the Lakers are pleading patience with Bryant’s acclimation. They’re also arguing Bryant’s fourth-quarter rustiness didn’t offset the momentum that the Lakers’ bench built. ‘You have to trust the coach,’ Xavier Henry said. ‘I work hard and am aggressive and have faith it will pay off. I’m not the coach. He makes those decisions and he has reasons for everything.’ His reasons? ‘I wanted to live a little bit,’ D’Antoni joked. ‘We got to get through this. You lose the skirmish anyway, but the battle is bigger. We’re going to ride Kobe. We might as well get it over with. One game is not going to kill us. But we have to get him back as soon as we can.’ [...] ‘It was really weird. I think the last time I had eight months off, I was still in the womb. So it felt good to get out there,’ Bryant said. ‘The accomplishment is in the work. It was really hard every single day to get to this point. That part I’m very proud of, especially being in the league so many years. You have to find the motivation every single day to do the rehab. From that stand point, I’m very proud.’”

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  • cgeorge22

    Ahh.. Good ol Kobe

  • the rain

    He looked old out there. #Young man’s game.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    …Love it when players honestly critique their game and hold themselves to a high standard of play…

  • robb

    The whole starting line up looked clueless. As for Kobe, it’s a process, he’s rusty and although he may not regain the same level he had before the injury, he’ll get better. I’m more worried about Pau.

  • Conor

    Other than forcing some passes, he completely controlled whatever he wanted to do. DeRozan inflicted the majority of his damage when Kobe wasn’t guarding him.

  • TTN

    Be for real, Kobe has never been a lock down defender, and to imply that Derozan would have had a less productive offense showing if Kobe had been guarding him all night is out right delusional. He looked slow with and without the ball last night.

  • Shifty

    I agree, I am always asking the question on here, how did he get 12, or 13 or however many first team all NBA defensive team selections? He has not always been the best two gaurd defender that many times!

  • TTN

    Everybody has to be like mike. If a 2 guard wants to be a legend he better be 6’6 and able to score and defend. Kobes offensive game is sound but defense not even close. he is a basketball mind so he reads plays and plays passing lanes. Real ball players know it takes alot to play both ends effectively, let alone guard the next teams best player. Kobe fans won’t like what I’m saying but look at last season when he did guard the other teams best player( kyrie and some others) his scoring dipped considerably in that stretch and he was complaining about fatigue.

  • Me that’s who

    The starting lineup looked clueless cause Kobe started when he should have been coming off the bench the cohesion was thrown off. I would say if Kobe hadn’t played when he was playing lakers could have had a better shot to win. Because Henry should have played way more than he did instead of Kobe throughout the game and in the 4th. I knew this would happen cause Kobe got to be the man and with the players in LA currently they best as a unit.

  • Me that’s who

    Kobe measure his success by points though, if he had 25-30 points with the 8 turnovers he would have said he played good and barley mentioned the turnovers. His whole demeanor was funny he looked like he knew didn’t have it. Achilles is not a joke it’s a reason dominque wilkens the only player to have any kind of success after the injury. Ask chauncey billups, Elton brand and isiah Thomas and some of the others.

  • sheed33

    Man, Pau looks old: He is slow in the post, he is slow upcourt , he tipps or volleyballs Rebounds, he always screams on his post up moves so that he is loosing all the credibility of ‘maybe’ selling a bump call to a ref, and the worst of all things: He reacts emotionally to each missed shot or turnover. That just doesn’t seem professional and neither shows the experienced coolness he should show. Basically he is a liability on the court.

    Although he has great skills for his size and seems to be a great locker room guy…

  • sheed33

    That’s just crazy. Kobe is a good defender. A very good defender if you consider what he has to carry on offense, his minutes and the fact that he displays a high standard throughout his career. Ask Harden about it! Ask Monta Ellis.

    Kobe and Wade took their teams to the finals because of ALL of their defensive abilities, individually and team-wise.

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