Lakers Jazz BasketballKobe Bryant’s heart and pride were both never in question, but his reluctance to throw in the towel was. The question is if being too proud, is hurting the team.

Kobe Bryant in Sunday’s loss to the Jazz was a memorable one to Lakers fans because of the heart and determination that was seen in their team leader. Though it was not a fairy tail ending, resulting in a Lakers loss, eyebrows were raised, and questions were asked.

With Kobe being out there with a broken finger, and a stomach virus, was he doing his Lakers team any good?

When looking at the stat line you can tell that this was not another Kobesque moment. Kobe did not have the energy or the power to deliver for his team. Kobe was not seen in the paint or in the post like we are used to.

Kobe was unable to get to the basket at all and was left to shoot the outside shot. His shot was not falling for him, and he was left with a 1 for 9 stat line from 3 point range. Settling for the three was evident especially late in the game when he had no desire to get into the post or drive into the lane. After one shot late in the 4th it was more then obvious that Kobe was just out of breath and that he was unable to keep producing. He made a short jumper and got fouled. After the whistle Kobe was kneeling down in sure exhaustion. He finished on the field with 7 out of 24, going 1 for 1 on the free throw line.

His rebounding number was impressive, counting in the fact that he was fatigued and drained on a back to back night. He finished with 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

We have seen Kobe play with a sprained wrist, a torn ligament in his pinky, bad knees, and ankle sprains over and over again.

Usually he comes through in the clutch and delivers for his team. As he becomes older, one must wonder if he is doing more harm then good playing through these injuries. More or less it was not his offensive game that really did the damage for the Lakers, but it was his defensive non presence that hurt the team. He was too slow and tired to help and rotate on defense. He was unable to stay in front of his man. He was too slow and lagged on the passing lanes. The Jazz were scoring at ease, getting in the lane with the torn defensive rotations.

At a time where Kobe is putting more risk on his injury and his body, one must ask if he would be better sitting out. I believe he should have sat this one out, with either Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic starting.

The Lakers are a team that is deep, a team that can sustain some injuries for a short period of time. They have that luxury, and they need to use it.

  • 007

    +1 on this article. i also though kobe was hurting the team more than helping. no one’s questioning kobe’s heart but we need kobe for the long run

  • Tony Moustakelis

    Thanks man, its what I felt as far as this went. He was doing more harm then good. One thing I like is how he is showing the young guys, and setting a good example for em.

  • The Mamba24

    ONE GAME, just ONE GAME.

    • Heron

      one game will turn into more if he’s not reigned in. I mean no disrespect to Kobe, but the team is stacked and no one will think less of him if he sits a few games out. I think the team can cope, and shouldn’t he rest for the ultimate ego game on Christmas day? Kobe, as much as he’s grown, needs to learn more humility.

  • Gravy

    wow….. now we’re criticizing the guy for trying to give it a run!!! With all the impressive games he’s had while under the weather, i’d give him the benefit of the doubt any day!!! Besides they still played like crap when he wasn’t in the game so whats the difference? Just makin’ him the scapegoat!!!

    • Heron

      read what I said above, and look at the game as a Laker fan not a Kobe fan.

      • TOUCHING_MYSELF

        I agree with Heron. “… giving it a run!!!” , Gravy, means that you test things out and when it doesn’t seem like it’s working then you shut it down! It doesn’t mean that you throw up forced shots while doing a ballerina move.

        Look it, I’m a huge Kobe fan! Unlike a lot of others out there, I can be objective. I have no qualms about being “critical” when it applies, and it definitely applied on Saturday night. Kobe not only hurt the team by playing, he was hurting his image as well. The talks of him not trusting his teammates will come up from this, you can bet on it.

        Heron is right, no one’s questioning his heart or his will to win. But when you physically don’t have it that night, you do more by doing less, which was to shut it down. The rotation on the ball just wasn’t there and the shots weren’t falling. If he was having a off night shooting, so be it, but that wasn’t the case. He was having an off night because his finger was bandaged up!

        I hope that his finger heals fast man. We’ll need him healthy! We can’t afford to have him miss games down the stretch or for this to come back and haunt him later!

        GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        PRAY FOR A MIRACULOUSLY QUICK HEALING ON KOBE’S FINGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 09champs!

    I agree. Sasha was 3-3 on the previous night and it could’ve been a great opportunity for him, it looks like he is getting his shooting touch back but still no PT , thats because shannon and jordy have been playing good, but like I said, might have been good to see if he can still produce in entended minutes. I just hope that kobe can figure how to shoot w/ a broken finger, and recover fron whatever problem he has. Go LA

  • Tony Moustakelis

    No no he isnt the scapegoat at all. Just saying he is sacrificing his body when it isnt needed. Kobe is the prob the most respected player in the league, and the best. But he just couldnt pull it out last night.

    • Gravy

      no you’re cool…. just got done though watching jim hill put hartman in his place about calling out kobe

      • Tony Moustakelis

        Appreciate it gravy, dude put his heart on the line. Cant ask for anything more. Does it time and time again..

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    did you put the kobe and team in the same sentence….?Do you ever watch kobe?team and kobe….oil and water…

    • http://LakersNation Marwan..

      As a matter of fact I do watch “Kobe and Team”. Who the hell are you to come here and talk ‘ish about Kobe. That guy accomplished more in one season than you could in your lifetime. Face it, you haters are fueling Kobe towards the ring, you did it last season, you’ll do it this season.

      Kobe & Team = Jordan & Pippen (Kobe couldnt have done it without his team, just like Jordan couldnt without Pippen)

  • http://LakersNation Marwan..

    Just because Kobe doesnt average alot of assists doesnt mean he doesnt pass.

    For an assist to count, the player must score the ball after it was passed to him and more than often, when Kobe passes the ball, the triangle passes the ball to a cutter and therefore Kobe doesnt get the assist. Watch his game, count every pass he has, and for those saying he is a hog, you will take it back, just watch him play.

  • gugy

    wow, every time the Lakers lose a game the bandwagon whiners start posting.
    Come on, it’s just one game. Even if it was two, why freak out?
    We just came out a 11 game win streak. The team looks good and Kobe just put one of the most exciting 3 point buzzer shot out of his career against Miami. Just chill people!
    We are fine and Kobe will be in much better shape against Chicago. Have some faith.

  • drive-for-16th

    kobe plays with heart and passion every game , all haters keep hating while he keeps winning rings, the hate is what drives him and he accomplished a lot from that hate, people love lebron thats why he will never be on kobes level. It takes more than stats and number, if u look at derek fisher stats only u’d think he sucks but what he has done to win rings not many have done. Kobe is human the guy had the courage to play even when hes sick and hurt, dont blame him for the loss, its a team sport no one else did shit, fuking lamar odom and shit just didnt do crap all.

  • KBGOAT

    I agree, kobe should rest his body for upcoming playoff. It’s just a regular season game, we can’t afford a kobe-less playoff run.

  • Tony Moustakelis

    Thanks for the comments guys. I didnt write this as a bash on Kobe, I love him, and I honestly saw this loss coming regardless of his health. I dont freak over a few losses, especially one like this in Utah. My questioning was just if he should put his pride to the side sometimes. I feel that he did great and proved some points to his teammates and to people around the league. But again he hurt the team I believe in some areas… Its a toss up. Thats why I like the discussion.

  • Lakers 24 7

    It is just ONE game. You guys do know that Utah has the best home record in the NBA from the last two seasons combined, right? Utah is just a different team when they play at home. It’s like they never miss. Every time the Lakers made a run, Utah would hit a lucky dagger late in the shot clock…and I thought the reffs raped us with horrible calls, and some calls went our way but it was already too late in the game. It was just a perfect chance for the Jazz to take advantage. You think Ronnie Brewer hits those jump shots when they play on the road?

    • Lakers 24 7

      …plus, the Lakers didn’t take care of the ball. There were four players with at least 3 turnover…and not one of those players was Kobe. We had more turnovers than assists. Kobe and Gasol had 5 assists each, while every one else either had only 1 or none. YES, Kobe’s poor shooting hurt us, but nobody else had a great game, either. (Except Gasol). We didn’t play defense. We allowed the Jazz to shoot 52%.

  • aLive86

    Lakers lose one game and you people go blame Kobe’s pride. Pathetic.

    How about you blame the “deep” bench for not being able to pick up what Kobe couldn’t carry last night? Obviously Kobe sensed the lack of efficiency from some of his teammates so he had to do something about it (besides Gasol and his recent complain to the media about needing more touches).

  • http://lakersground.net lakers4life2417

    the game was last night (saturday)

  • Shannon4mvp

    These are the type of situations where people like candy ass odom needs to wake up and actualy show up to play. Whats pathetic is people like vujacic and odom dont earn and dont deserve the millions they get paid to play a basketball game. Give me that much money i will do waay better than them. Odom just doesnt try. He can take a loss without giving all he has thats what separates him from players like kobe who will not give in no matter what and play there ass of. Screw lamar hes just doing what he always has bin and that is a no show. Lets get erbody healthy for chicago, they said kobe was pissed of after the game and didnt talk to no one no media or anything, he might go off at chicago. Go lakers!!!!

  • Vk2

    When I first read your article i thought you were calling kobe out on the loss. But after reading your comments, i see what you are saying. I mean i totally agree with you if its too risky he should sit out no matter what but from experience i know if it was too severe vitti and those guys wouldn’t let him play. And i think kobe knows his body and wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize lakers in a long run. So i trust in him and you guys should too.

    P.S Steve Hateman go to hell.

  • http://LakersNation Marwan..

    Artest knew that Kobe Bryant was sick and playing hurt.

    Artest knew that Bryant was late to Saturday night’s game because of a stomachache and lacked energy.

    Artest knew that Bryant also was playing with an avulsion fracture in his right index finger that had a splint on it.

    “Kobe, he told me to get more aggressive and get in there,” Artest said. “And [Pau] Gasol too told me to get in there.”

    Artest also tried to be a good teammate.

    The Lakers were down by 17 points in the fourth when Jackson called a timeout.

    Artest, who was on the bench resting, encouraged his teammates, clapping, putting his hand beneath his chin, motioning for them to keep their heads up.

    • http://LakersNation Marwan..

      Artest… he is amazing. He played with heart and he showed heart to his teammates too. This was a big plus for us that we got him when we lost Ariza. Seriously this man is the crazy man the media is trying to label him with.

      “Artest, who was on the bench resting, encouraged his teammates, clapping, putting his hand beneath his chin, motioning for them to keep their heads up.”

      Showing leadership and this really put a smile on my face when I read it. Artest is a truly a great man.

      • http://LakersNation Marwan..

        I meant “this man is NOT the crazy man the media is trying to label him with”

        I dont re-read what I write.

        • TOUCHING_MYSELF

          Marwan, you’re a funny dude man. I’m not poking fun, I swear. I just think that it’s funny that you respond to your own posts. It’s almost like an athlete referring to himself in the 3rd person. LOL! Keep it coming.

  • Heron

    I mean no disrespect to Kobe, but the team is stacked and no one will think less of him if he sits a few games out. I think the team can cope, and shouldn’t he rest for the ultimate ego game on Christmas day? Kobe, as much as he’s grown, needs to learn more humility.

    PLEASE watch the game as a Laker fan, not a “Kobe and the Lakers” fan. Maybe you’re too young or don’t understand the game enough or have never played it on a high level (2 years at a state college before injury). As much as he’s grown as a leader, you can’t deny those moments when he wants to be the hero instead of making the sensible play or hit a wide open teamate. I’ve defended Kobe to the death in terms of him vs. LeBron, but I will always give LeBron his overall court vision. LeBron of late, and I really hate to f*&$in say this, is doing a better job right now of having to be everything to his weak team than when Kobe had to do the same thing when we had Mihm as our starting center.

    • Vk2

      Ya we all know this team is stacked and believe it or not phil and kobe knows that. I see you’re making your judgment based one game ,so let me ask you this how were they doing without kobe last game? But i dont think whats going on with kobe and the lakers is reason you are speaking right now you. I think whats making you say those thing is because you are insecure about lebron taking kobe’s place. For some one who says this should be about the team not kobe you seem to care way too much about what lebron is doing. And if kobe was going to rest he would have to rest 4-6 weeks not till next week.

  • paulpiercesucks

    so now you guys criticize kobe….

  • tony sanchez

    i don’t think kobe will sit, he is selfish and i really hate kobe..

    • http://LakersNation Marwan..

      Wow go vent your feelings somewhere else. Try not to cut yourself, you will stain the carpet green.

      You haters do your thing, Kobe thrives off that like he did last season.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    kobe needs the spotlight….instead of giving someone else a chance to play ..he had that hero thing going on in high school…read phil jacksons book,you dorks.he`s still trying to set up games so he can shine.forget the team its all about the KOBE….GET IT..

    • 242LakerFan

      Oh God, are you still here? I thought I detected the stink of clover when I came in.
      Go hang out with your pathetic, delusional, self-loathing colleagues on thehatersnation.com. I’m sure there’s a support group you can join there for people who have to tear down others in order to feel good about themselves.
      I wish you a happy recovery.

  • lakerman1

    Boy do some people on this blog pick the smallest of things to complain about. Its Kobe’s team and his decision only. Some of you same people swore the Lakers could not repeat without Lamar and he has not looked very good so far. All i can say is when Kobe went out in the 2nd the Lakers did not look good at all. Quit bitching guys it is way too early in the season for that. Kobe always rebounds and some are basing everthing on one game. Sure wish there was a Laker blog where people are more optimistic. Some of you people are whiners. I cut that crap short when i hear complaining at my job.

    • daboss1848

      “Sure wish there was a Laker blog where people are more optimistic.”
      the quintessential defintion of fan requires some of us to scream “we’re the greatest” after wins, and x, y, z suck after losses.

  • LakersAllTheWay

    We need to give Kobe a pass on this one. He has done so much for us. Sure he blew any chance for us to win against Utah by both playing and then playing very badly, but maybe he will learn from this. It is the season for giving. Lets give Kobe a mulligan on this.

  • Robert

    Recall last year when LePuff bruised his pinky (or something), and was out a game or two, or three. Kobe plays with broken bones, viruses, flus, etc. etc. … still has the distended pinky too, probably.
    His willingness to play through that should be an inspiration to his teammates. Don’t give up. No excuses.
    The Lakers need to learn how to play without him there, or with having him there but not at full speed. This will help them in the long run. Consider this one of the first of those experiences. So they lost. They could lose another with these circumstances, too. But eventually, they will learn how to win under all circumstances, and then it’s on to ‘several’ championships.

  • Livia

    … I get what most of you are saying, but you can’t just blame the loss all on Kobe. Yes, he had a horrible shooting night, but so did a lot of other people. Odom (3/8); Shannon (2/6). The three point shooting was horrendous. Even without Kobe’s attempts (1/9), the team still would have been 2-12. Make 3 of those and that’s the game right there. The point is, even with Kobe sick and injured, we can still win. But, someone has to step up. I remember the Cleveland away game last year. Kobe was sick with the flu, but we still won the game convincingly. Why? Cause someone stepped up (Odom at the time.) That’s what we needed last night and not enough people did it… That’s why we lost. But regardless, it was one game. Still 60 more games to be played.

    btw- if Phil thought Kobe was the problem, don’t you think he would have taken him out? He IS the coach after all and he makes the decisions about who is out there on the floor. If Phil wanted Kobe out of the game on Saturday, Kobe would have been out of the game.

    • LakersAllTheWay

      Kobe shot 29% the rest of the lakers shot 54%. Kobe gets credit for many laker wins we can give him blame for this one loss. He is still a great player just human.

      • Vk2

        Oh really? How well were they doing with out kobe that game…go head bring me stats and the scores and since when is shooting % means your playing well?

        • LakersAllTheWay

          Shooting percentage is a very important factor in playing well. Winning teams shoot better and get better shots. That night letting kobe shoot so much was not a good idea with the finger and the flu. Kobe should have taken himself out just admit it.

      • Livia

        I wasn’t saying he wasn’t to blame. I’m just saying you can’t blame it ALL on Kobe.

  • Ronin99

    Its just one game! If he wants to play…let him play LIMITED minutes. But, if he isn’t doing too well, let him rest and get the other’s involved more somehow. At least there was some time in between games, next one being Tuesday for recovery time. But, I think they should look at the match ups…if they are playing a weaker team, then may be have Kobe sit it out.

  • tony sanchez

    i think lebron is better than kobe… lebron james is an all around player, he can shoot or pass the ball. the evidenced by LeBron’s 20 triple-doubles, compared to only 16 for Kobe, who has played hundreds more games than James.

    • Livia

      So having an all-around game just means you can shoot, pass, and rebound? So I guess that ball-handling, post-play, footwork, all the basic fundamental aspects of the game, and killer mentality don’t apply…. That’s awesome to know.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    tony sanchez,finally someone with common sense.!..welcome!these raider/laker fans only like ball washing the MAMBAS tiny sac.thanks for stepping up.

  • drive-for-16th

    If you don’t like kobe why are you here talkin, I’ve said it a million times your a dumb ass if you just look at the stats, there are more things in this game than stats, u retartds wouldn’t know, get outta laker nation, go suck lebrons dick somewhere else!

    • Brett

      this is funny, and if there were a like button. I’d click it.

  • drive-for-16th

    if were ball washing kobe laffs atu then ur ball washing lebron same thing goes to u, u dumb fuck get the fuk outta laker nation.

  • tony sanchez

    f*ck you men…

  • http://www.ld2k.com Chris Manning

    42 points tonight.

    I’d say he might’ve hurt the Bulls team a little bit.

  • Aaron2416377

    shut up chris manning…haha