That's not what it's about. We aren't defending Kobe because he has been a Laker for 17 seasons, we're defending him because he's HANDS DOWN the best player on this team.
I realize where I am, in Laker Land. I know Kobe Bryant is King in Laker Land. I know a lot of you guys have been with him for years and believe in him. I know Kobe has 5 rings(3 with Shaq, 2 with Pau.)
Still I'm fairly confident that if Kobe had to miss 15-20 games with some sort of an injury, that Nash could get this team to fire on all cylinders.
In our five championships...he was the facilitator in the triangle offense. He led the team in assists all five of those seasons, and almost every season since the 1999-00 championship (with the exception of maybe two, one when we had Gary Payton...and that was basically Payton getting 0.4 more assists).
Kobe has always been viewed as the selfish 30+ PPG scorer...yet, he was the guy running the triangle offense all of those years. People don't understand that. And the offense created more "hockey assists" than anything else, much like you saw with Dwight Howard in Orlando. Howard WAS the reason why all of those shooters were wide open during their run to the 2009 NBA Finals...but he wasn't racking up 5+ assists per game because the Magic were swinging the ball once he kicked it back out.
Kobe's 30 points and five assists today...are no different than his 30 points and five assists in those championship seasons, EXCEPT that those 30 points are at 48%, which is the highest he's ever shot.
So, again, why should Kobe stop doing what won him five championships, and move aside for a guy who has NEVER averaged 19 PPG, who has NEVER been in the NBA Finals (let alone win a championship), who has NEVER shot the ball more than 27 times in his career and has scored 40+ just twice (I believe, both 42's)...when KB is having his best statistical season yet?
Nash is the 39-year old. We aren't going to run...because we can't run, doesn't matter what Nash does or wants to do, he can't force old players to run. Even he is having trouble, which is part of why he struggled last season in Phoenix (I'm assuming you were a Suns fan, so you should know this better than most...the team was bad, but Nash did have trouble getting up and down the court).
It makes very little sense to see Steve Nash NOT try and play off of Kobe and Dwight. He is one of the greatest shooters ever...in my opinion, the greatest shooter at his position (of all time), yet, he's not taking advantage of that.
Instead of Ron Artest taking 14 shots a night, it should be Nash.
We can't afford to play all of our guys out of their comfort zone, just to make Nash feel like he's back in Phoenix. Kobe and Dwight are superstars. Nash is a borderline all-star PG at this point. He was brought here to take SOME pressure off of Kobe, and to shoot the ball at a 50/40/90 clip, which is what he can do...not come here to act like a 25-year old Magic Johnson and turn Kobe into Byron Scott.
If Nash is so great, he will adjust accordingly. He's 39, playing limited minutes. He's nearly a PG version of Larry Bird out there, in regards to his back issues. If he's not going to change, we're going to fall to a team like the Thunder, who has a PG (Westbrook) who is faster, stronger, and would bully Nash around an entire series...and a team that is, collectively, faster than we are.