Robert Horry may have won three championship rings alongside Kobe Bryant, and he may now be an employee of the Lakers’ flagship television station at Time Warner Cable SportsNet, though that doesn’t stop the retired player from speaking his mind about the Black Mamba every once in a while.
On Sunday night, after the Lakers lost 136-115 to the Golden State Warriors, Horry had some comments on TWC SportsNet’s post game show regarding Bryant’s volume shooting.
The Black Mamba put up 34 shots in 31 minutes and converted on 15 of his attempts for a total of 44 points, though players such as Jeremy Lin, who listed “communication, trust and effort” as three things that are currently wrong with the team, and Carlos Boozer, who talked about Bryant’s aggressiveness and the need to find “a balance,” were visibly down following the game.
Horry said Bryant needed to lower his shot attempts and share the basketball more if he hoped for his teammates to play better on both ends of the court.
“[Byron Scott’s] sitting there talking about effort. Effort’s not going to be there. I know if I was playing with Kobe right now [and] you’re not sharing that basketball, my effort wouldn’t translate to the defensive end,” Horry said. “I think that’s a lot of the problem right there, that guys don’t feel involved on the offensive end so they don’t get back on D [and] they don’t feel involved in the game.
“So, [Byron’s] gotta find a way to make Kobe Bryant share that basketball and make them feel more like a team.”
Horry wasn’t done there, though.
“I think it’s the trust issue, the communication issue,” Horry said. “It’s going to boil down to this Atlanta game, I think. If Swaggy P can come back and change the flow of the team, because right now there is no flow with this team. It’s Kobe this, Kobe that, and you can see the frustration in the other guys. Jeremy Lin stated [it], Boozer stated in the interviews that there’s some lack of trust going on there and they want to be more involved in the team effort to win ball games.
“If you go back and look at the times [they’ve looked good and] you look at the shots taken, the ball was shared,” Horry said. “And then you start looking at when they’re frustrated, there’s one individual with more shots than others.”
So, how does the idea of stepping back sound to the Mamba? At 36-years-old and 19 years into his NBA career, Bryant says that a reduced role on offense would suit him just fine.
“I’m more than willing to sit back,” Bryant said after the game. “If you think I wanna shoot as many times and be as aggressive at 36-years-old, you’re freakin’ crazy.”
That statement should be music to the ears of Nick Young, who is set to make his season debut on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Hopefully, Young will finally be able to take some of the scoring load off Bryant, though it’s on the defensive end where this team really needs to sort out their problems.
Will less shots from Kobe help solve the Lakers’ defensive woes? Probably not, but at 1-9, Bryant might as well give it a go.