Kobe Bryant has not been great so far in the early stages of the 2015-16 NBA season. While he has never been the most efficient player, this year has been even worse as Kobe is on pace to shoot the worst percentage from the field of his career.
It also doesn’t help that Kobe is shooting only 20 percent from deep, but attempting seven three-pointers per game.
Many fans have questioned Kobe’s shot selection as many of his attempts have come in isolation, but head coach Byron Scott said Kobe has earned the privilege to take his shots according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Byron argued that Kobe "has earned the privilege" to take the shots he's taking
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 23, 2015
Scott would add that he wants Kobe to be himself, and the rest of the team hasn’t earned that right yet according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
Byron lamented Lakers' dependence on isolation vs. Blazers. But Kobe's "got 20 years in this league … so he has that privilege."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 23, 2015
Unfortunately for the Lakers, Kobe has not been the Kobe of old this season and his isolation game is not helping the Lakers win games or helping the young core of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell develop.
It’s hard not to wonder how things would go if some of the shots Kobe is taking were going to Clarkson, who is averaging 15.8 points to Kobe’s 16.3, but on nearly four fewer shots per game. Getting the ball in Russell’s hands more has also been something that even Kobe has admitted needs to happen. Allowing Kobe to continue the way he has been, however, won’t help anyone.