Kobe Bryant says he “sucks right now.” And the 0-3 Lakers can’t offer the NBA all-time great any contrary evidence. They’re too busy trying to figure out how to win while their highest paid first option shoots 37% from the floor. And just over 20% from 3-point land. For avid Kobe watchers, a stat that stands out isn’t those woeful shooting percentages — it’s that Bryant has taken just 51 shots (making 16) in the Lakers’ three games. Why doesn’t he shoot more?
Bryant has never shot better than 47% from the floor and owns a career shooting percentage of 45%. But his career average for shot attempts — including the lean early years and the years he had to give the ball to Shaq half the time — is 19.6. Kobe averaged more than 20 shots a game in 13 different seasons. This year Bryant is putting the blame on himself, saying “the guys are getting me the ball. They are making great passes. It’s their job to facilitate and it’s my job to finish.” He’s just not doing it. But how much longer will it be the job of all the other Lakers to “facilitate”?