Mike D’Antoni Says Kobe Bryant Passed Too Much

by February 13, 2013

In an awful, disjointed performance against the Phoenix Suns last night, Kobe Bryant took the “Magic Mamba” thing a little too far. Bryant forced passes all game long, and racked up 9 assists to go along with 8 turnovers. Kobe also managed to hit just a single field goal. Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni talked about his superstar’s over-eagerness to pass the rock, a concept that remains difficult to wrap one’s head around. Per the LA Daily News: “He passed up wide open looks. Bryant threw passes to teammates not expecting the ball. He finished in what became his lowest-scoring game since his second NBA season with four points on 1 of 8 shooting and eight turnovers. Yet, the Lakers still beat the Phoenix Suns, 91-85, Tuesday at Staples Center in what marked their eighth win in the past 11 games. […] ‘I thought it was great, actually,’ said an upbeat Bryant, who had nine assists. ‘Obviously, scoring four points and going one for eight isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. But I think the important thing is that we just moved the ball.’ […] ‘He was trying too hard to get everybody else involved,’ Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. ‘You have to walk the fine line. He went way over the other line. He has to get back to the middle where he facilitates and is aggressive and it flows that way.’ Bryant’s been tackling this role for the past 11 games by becoming the team’s floor general while Steve Nash has morphed into a defacto shooting guard. Bryant’s averaged 8.27 assists during that stretch, ranking just behind Boston’s Rajon Rondo (11.1 assists), the Clippers’ Chris Paul (9.5) and New Orlean’s Greivis Vasquez (9.4). But Bryant’s facilitating hardly looked smooth against Phoenix. ‘Once every 17 years, I guess he’s allowed that,’ D’Antoni said. ‘I wouldn’t be too tough on him.'”