Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time. Some say he is possibly the greatest Laker ever. Two jersey numbers in the rafters at the STAPLES Center prove this.
Kobe took over games in ways that not many players could. His mentality on and off the court is one of the main reasons why he is one of the very best to ever do it.
Eduardo Solano, from FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM Hopewell and AccuScore, wrote this about Kobe Bryant recently:
“Kobe’s grueling cardio workouts gave him an edge throughout his career. He could run all day long. Bryant knew that if someone wants to be a great basketball player, they have to be in great shape.”
Kobe’s averages in the 2011-12 season at age 33:
43.0 % Fg
30.3 % 3pt
84.5 % Ft
52.8 % Ts
– Led the Lakers to the third-best record in the West (sixth-best in the NBA)
– All-NBA 1st Team
– All-Defensive 2nd Team
– 2nd in the NBA in scoring
Kobe’s efficiency saw a dip from his usual well above league average tone. But a shortened season, super long layoff due to the lockout sure didn’t help and isn’t a coincidence as it affected many other stars as well.
Even with that he still dominated the regular season.
Kobe’s scoring was great this season. Second in ppg in the league at Age 33. He was keeping up with much younger elite scorers in Durant and LeBron.
Kobe needed 38 points against the Kings (second-worst defensive team) in the last game of the year to pass Durant but elected to sit out.
The Lakers had a pristine 10-1 record when Kobe scored 35 or more points.
When he dominated, so did the Lakers.
Kobe started off the year hot.
Including an eight-game stretch from January 3 to January 15 where he averaged…
38.0 ppg 6.0 rpg 5.0 apg on 50.0 % shooting, 84.1 % from the line and a 58.5 Ts %
LA’s record was 6-2 in this span.
Kobe had five 40+ pt games and seven games with 30 or more.
From January 3 to March 15 Kobe averaged…
30.0 ppg 5.6 rpg 4.6 apg on 44.0 % from the field, 84.2 % from the line & had a 53.6 % Ts
The Lakers went 24-13 in this stretch.
Kobe’s nose got broken by Dwyane Wade at the All-Star Game. He came back wearing a clear and a black mask, but it didn’t stop him from dominating.
He averaged 29.6 ppg in 11 games wearing it with two extremely impressive showings against the eventual Champion Miami Heat and rival Boston Celtics.
Kobes best stat-lines in this shortened lockout season.
- 48 pts 5 rebs 4 asts 3 stls vs. Phx
- 42 pts 7 rebs 5 asts 2 stls 1 blk @ Lac
- 42 pts 5 rebs 3 asts 3 stls vs. Cle
- 40 pts 3 rebs 5 asts vs. GS
- 40 pts 8 rebs 5 asts 1 stl 1 blk @ Uta
Just to name a few.
Some of Kobe’s best games
vs. the Suns
48 pts 6 rebs 3 asts 3 stls on 18-31 shooting, 12-13 from the line & had 16 pts in the 4th qtr on 6-7 shooting to close out Phoenix. The start of Kobe’s four straight 40-pt feat in January.
vs. the Cavs
42 pts 5 rebs 3 asts 3 stls on 15-30 shooting, 4-7 from 3, 8-10 from the line and had his first duel with rookie sensation Kyrie Irving.
vs. the Jazz
42 pts 7 rebs 5 asts 1 stl 1 blk on 14-30 shooting, 11-11 from the line and some clutch shots down the stretch as well as the game saving/winning block at the end. This was also the second straight 40-pt game which would turn into two more in a row afterwards.
vs. the Heat
33 pts 3 rebs 2 asts on 14-23 shooting, 5-7 from the line and some clutch shots at the end of the game. Torching the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat.
vs. the Clippers
31 pts 5 rebs 6 asts on 13-19 shooting, 2-3 from 3 & two huge shots to ice the game at the end. Showing the new-look Clippers that LA still belonged to the Lakers.
vs. the Mavericks
30 pts 5 rebs 5 asts on 11-18 shooting, 1-2 from 3, 7-7 from the line against the team that swept the Lakers a year prior in the Playoffs.
Kobe was a great clutch time performer this year as he often was, second to only Kevin Durant in 4th quarter scoring with 7.0 ppg per.
Including three game-winning shots against the Hornets, Warriors and the Raptors.
Kobe went on to average 30.0 ppg 5.0 rpg 4.3 apg in the Playoffs but it wasn’t enough as LA lost in the second round with the entire team outside of Kobe and Metta World Peace struggling against the up and coming OKC Thunder.
Nonetheless, a great bounce-back season for Kobe in particular.
Kobe had countless seasons where he was incredible and they get talked about quite a bit but this season in particular goes very unnoticed. He as well as many other stars had their struggles adjusting to the long layoff and abrupt return to play, but still had a spectacular season.