Everytime Kobe steps onto the court, he’s under immense pressure to excel. The stupendous money involved, the high level of competition, the sheer ego-power, the crucial importance of winning — all of these factors are always at stake.
Fox Sports: Whether or not the Lakers make any significant changes, their chances for success will depend on Kobe’s doing something that he hasn’t really done as long as Phil Jackson has been his coach — fully embrace the triangle offense. That means playing with balance and mindfulness, executing the plays even when he’s not the designated shooter, being unselfish instead of being petulant, and being a true teammate.
Oh, and playing the same kind of ferocious defense he showed in the recent FIBA tournament would also be a big plus.
Is Kobe going to be a true leader who can enable his teammates to maximize their own individual skills? Or will he continue to be so narcissistic that none of his teammates will have any desire to follow him?
This season will be the ultimate test of Kobe’s maturity.