How would a Kobe Bryant controller for the PS3 and the NBA 2K12 game look like? Well, according to what’s been going on this season with Bryant and the Lakers, it’ll probably only have a shoot button on the right. Bryant is leading the league in field goal attempts for the fifth time in seven seasons, and isn’t planning on changing anytime soon.
Maybe the Lakers should be thankful this isn’t 2005-2006, when Bryant put up 27.2 shots per game, 2173 for the season. It isn’t an NBA record, “only” 11th all time behind a few Wilt Chamberlain seasons, Rick Barry, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Elvin Hayes. But in this generation of NBA players? No one is even close. Allen Iverson’s 1940 from 2003 is the closest we have in recent seasons.
But Bryant is back this season, with a vengeance. Not playing better than last season, but playing more, actually more than anyone else in the league, with a total of 2044 minutes, 38.6 per game. Third in the league on averages, behind the much younger feet of Kevin Love and Luol Deng.
Bryant got it into his head early on this season that without the big trade he was wishing for, the Lakers’ only chance of winning is him shooting the ball with no safety on. His assists numbers (4.6 per game) are the lowest in his career since the 1990’s, excluding the 2005-2006 season, when Bryant was even more obsessed with doing everything by himself.
But a look at the numbers shows that the Lakers hardly lose when Bryant takes less than 20 shots. The Lakers are 7-2 (26-18 rest of the time) when Bryant tries to control himself, and the team actually rely on pushing the ball inside to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, who both are having fantastic seasons despite the ball-hogging of the leading scorer in the NBA.
So if you get this controller, don’t be so certain you’re going 82-0 in your imaginary season. Bryant loves shooting the ball more than anyone else in the league apparently, but that doesn’t mean that’s what good for the Lakers, who have their improved defense to thanks just as much as Bryant’s scoring for this season’s wins.