Kobe Bryant Will Not Be Shooting Any Less

by January 03, 2012

Just because he connected on just six of 28 shot attempts in his last game doesn’t mean Kobe Bryant is going to adjust his mentality on offense (despite an absolutely killer wrist injury on his shooting hand.) And Lakers head coach Mike Brown says he’s fine with that, per ESPN: “I do what I do. If guys are open, I kick it to them, if they’re not, I shoot it,’ Bryant said. ‘I play my game.’ Bryant, playing with a torn lunotriquetral ligament in his right (shooting) wrist that he suffered during the preseason, started off the season averaging 27.8 points on 48.1 percent shooting through the Lakers’ first four games but had difficulty with his accuracy over the weekend. He averaged just 16.5 points on 12-for-26 shooting (26.1 percent) in a back-to-back against the Nuggets that the Lakers split 1-1. Through the first four games of the season, when Andrew Bynum was sidelined with a suspension, Bryant averaged 20.3 shot attempts per game. In the two games since Bynum came back, Bryant’s shot attempts actually increased to an average of 23.0 per contest. Meanwhile, Bynum has averaged 23.5 points per game on only 15 attempts per game and is shooting 66.7 percent from the field. ‘We always start inside-out,’ Bryant said. ‘If you mean (to ask me) if I’m going to shoot less, the answer is no. It starts with me. I do what I do and we play off of that. That’s not going to change.’ [Mike] Brown backed up Bryant’s stance after their impromptu film session. Brown said he had watched cut-ups of a game tape with LeBron James when he coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, but never watched a full game tape all the way through with his prized pupil. ‘When you look at (6-for-28 in the box score), you think ‘Oh my gosh, there’s got to be a ton of bad shots,’ Brown said. ‘But if you go back and watch the game you see some of the shots he took, there were a lot of shots he took — (I know) because I coached against him — he normally makes.’ Brown said that Bryant’s wrist, which still causes Bryant’s right hand to swell up significantly two weeks after he sustained the injury, could be hurting Bryant more than he is letting on. ‘He’s got to continue to figure out how to stay in rhythm or how to get in rhythm with that wrist. He might not say it, but try to hold a microphone with a torn ligament, let alone shoot it and make sure you get a follow through,’ Brown told a group of microphone-toting reporters. ‘That’s a bear. That’s a bear. When asked if he will tell Bryant to shoot less while he makes the adjustment to his wrist injury, Brown vehemently opposed the consideration.”