Like most great shooters, Bryant has nights where his shot simply isn’t falling and he gets carried away. He often becomes so obsessed with scoring that he doesn’t even look to pass the ball. According to Los Angeles Lakers forward Antawn Jamison, Kobe has asked his teammates to yell at him when that happens.
“Kobe will tell you,” Jamison said in an interview with ESPN’s Max and Marcellus Show on Wednesday (via ESPNLosAngeles.com), “He’s like, ‘Look, you guys as my teammates, yell at me. Let me know that you’re open because I’m so programmed,’ and this guy has told me this, ‘I see nothing but that basket. You could be open, there could be three guys on me, but the only thing I see is that basket so you have to tell me, Look, I was open. Or yell at me mid-play. That doesn’t affect me at all and I respect that.’”
You don’t score 82 points in a game without ignoring some open teammates, but Kobe is one of the few players in the league who can get away with that. He’s a five-time NBA champion and one of the greatest scorers of all time, which is why you can understanding teammates being hesitant to tell him to pass the damn ball.
“I think the thing we’ve seen in the past was most teammates might have been afraid to come to him or express, ‘Kob’ I was open,’ or, ‘That’s not what we drew up,’” Jamison said. “The thing I like about this team, Steve Nash — who is a Hall of Famer — and Dwight [Howard] as well, Dwight and Kobe have gotten into shouting matches on the bench because Dwight will be like, ‘Kob’, that’s your rotation. Get there.’ And after the game he’ll be like, ‘Appreciate it, big fella. I needed that.’”
I suppose Dwight calling Kobe out in the middle of a game is better than making fun of him behind his back. Communication is a key to success, which is why many believed surrounding Kobe with veteran teammates would be a championship formula. At the moment, it doesn’t appear to be that simple. That doesn’t mean the Lakers can be completely counted out, but the odds look stacked against them.
H/T Ball Don’t Lie