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Is this a new Kobe Bryant?


04:22 PM ET 01.28 | Kobe Bryant is playing very, well, un-Kobe-like. In two games since the Los Angeles Lakers held a team meeting to discuss all of their issues, their leader has had a change of face. As usual, he's the main ballhandler for the Lakers, but Bryant has recorded 14 assists in the two wins against the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. He's done that while shooting a combined 15-of-22, which means his shot totals have been cut in half. The change in mindset appears to have Mike D'Antoni's offense in high gear, but it also led to the Lakers playing energetic, if not solid, defense. "It's trying to evolve and figured out what we need as a ballclub," Bryant told USA Today of his new style. "Instead of me being a finisher, I'm just really facilitating and drawing the defense in and making plays. I game-planned for it, and it seems to be working."

USA Today

, Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
January 28, 2013  04:42 PM ET

Sweet melodies... sweet tunes. Angels are singing. LA is back. Not so soon though. For someone that's been a ball-hogging scorer his whole career we will see glimpses of the old Kobe here and there like the re-incarnated Melo. Now you may ponder trading Gasol for a younger elite ball handler but that will not work. Kobe dominates the ball so much a point guard is useless to the Lakers.

So what we see now is the best it can be. Kobe has to play facilitator for this to succeed. He can do it. He'll just needs rehab for his scoring addiction...

Go Lakers. I love any team that can beat Miami. OKC proved useless last year and it doesn't look like they've learned.

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January 28, 2013  07:02 PM ET

2 threads about the same subject???

The other day on the hockey section they had a thread on there three times.

Geniuses man this place.

Comment #5 has been removed
January 28, 2013  11:10 PM ET

Even if he goes back to hogging as usual, this stint proves what many of us have been saying throughout this season if not before--Kobe hurts his team because he shoots too much. Amazing how much more energetic everyone becomes on the defensive end when their energy on the offensive end is maintained by touching the ball.

So, all those who called us haters -- looks like our critique of KoME was right all along.

January 28, 2013  11:53 PM ET

Check the record on Kobe & Triple-Doubles. - If I recall, back in the pre-LeBorn days he had 3 in a row...

January 29, 2013  03:13 PM ET

It's unbelievable that an MVP pt guard like Nash can't even display his entire game for the Lakers. I would like to see just how good the team can play without catering to Kobe's needs.

There's only one ball... D'Antoni putting the ball in Kobe's hand and making Kobe's play determine their fate is the best thing that's happened to him besides being around when Nash was born.


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