Phil Jackson’s defends Kobe Bryant’s 37 shots vs. Phoenix

It must be nice to have someone like the Zen Master in your corner.

After Kobe Bryant put up 37 shots against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, the entire basketball world seemingly went after the Black Mamba, calling the five-time NBA champion a ball hog while placing the Lakers’ 0-5 start solely on his shoulders.

However, Bryant’s former coach saw nothing wrong with his 37 shot, 39 point outing.

“You don’t get it. Most players can’t GET 10 shots let alone 30+ shots,” Phil Jackson said in a tweet to ESPN’s Bomani Jones. “It takes a special athlete to get a good shot in NBA.”

“Look it. Bo is prolific,” Jackson continued, “he can overwhelm, just like Kobe. Like to hear his comments cause he takes good shots, just like Kobe. Ahem.”

[tweet https://twitter.com/PhilJackson11/status/530141694054772739]
[tweet https://twitter.com/PhilJackson11/status/530145528583974912]

After going back and watching the tape, it definitely seems like Phil is right.

While Bryant went just 14-for-37 on the night, the majority of his shots were good ones. It’s not like Bryant was fading away from a triple team on every attempt – most of the shots Kobe took versus the Suns were ones that he’s made thousands of times before. They were looks that would usually go down on any other night.

Here’s the footage of Bryant’s 39 points (and 37 shots) so you can decide for yourselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-30Di7Cb2Q

So, does that mean Bryant should shoot 37 times every night? Absolutely not. He needs his teammates to step up and be more aggressive. On this night, Kobe was taking what the defense was giving him while trying to will his team to a win. However, in future outings, other guys like Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer are going to need to step up and show that they can play assertively on a consistent basis.

After all, at 36-year-old and 19 years in, Bryant wouldn’t be able to keep up this kind of barrage from the field for all too long. As Phil mentioned, it’s harder than people think to put up good shots in the NBA.

Written by Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering

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  1. HE’ S LOOKING FOR THE BALL ON EVERY PLAY, LOOKING TO SHOOT ON EVERY PLAY, GET A REBOUND OR A PASS, NOT LOOKING TO GET HIS TEAM-MATE INVOLVED. FROM WHAT I CAN TELL, IT LOOK LIKE EVERY PLAY IS BEING RAN FOR KOBE. THE OTHER PLAYER NUMBER NOT BEING CALL, WHEN EVER THE BALL IS IN THERE HANDS, THEY’ER LOOKING FOR KOBE, WHEN HE GET THE BALL, WHERE EVER HE GET IT, HE GOING TO SHOOT IT. THIS TEAM COULD MAKE THE PLAY-OFF, NOT IF KOBE TRYING TO SCORE 60PTs A GAME. SHACK LET HIM KNOW, IT SCOTT TIME. A BIG TIME PLAYER COME IN, IT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM. IN THAT GAME WHEN YOU 2 OR 3-POINTS BEHIND, GET EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GAME, FREE YOURSELF UP AND THE FIVE PLAYER YOU PLAYING AGAINST, KNOW THE OTHERS CAN SHOOT AT THE HOOP, IF ONE SHOULD MISS, QUIT LOOKING AT THEM, LIKE THAT WAS YOUR SHOT TO. LOOK LIKE THEY’RE PLAYING HOT POTATOES, EVERY PLAYER THAT TOUCH THE BALL, IT GOING TO KOBE. NEED SCORE FOR A WIN OR A TIE , IT YOUR BALL……