In honor of Kobe Bryant’s new shoe, Nike has released a series of commercials featuring the “Kobe System”, featuring Kobe motivating other successful athletes, musicians and comedians, including Serena Williams, Kanye West and Aziz Ansari, on how to succeed in his own, one-of-a-kind Black Mamba kind of way.
The commercials got me thinking: which of Kobe’s current teammates need to use the Kobe System? In other words, which of his teammates need a kick in the slats?
Let’s take a look.
Photo courtesy of: freshnessmag.com
After Devin Ebanks started the first four games of the season at the small forward position for the Los Angeles Lakers, it was evident Matt Barnes needed to be in the position instead, especially with the recent struggles of Metta World Peace.
But since Mike Brown inserted World Peace into the starting lineup one week ago against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the consistent production Barnes provided earlier in the season has seemingly disappeared.
The team will need for Barnes to regain the form we saw earlier in the season, whether he is staring or coming off the pine.
Derek Fisher doesn’t need the Kobe System for a lack of effort or for a sudden, surprising drop in his. But when you combine his natural decline on both ends of the court, which has been manifesting over the last several seasons, and the fact he is still relied heavily upon by the Lakers to produce, Fisher could use the Kobe System in hopes of finding a way to stay productive on the court despite his creaky body.
Troy Murphy has been getting more minutes off the bench lately after falling out of the team’s rotation for a number of games.
Murphy has been playing the majority of his minutes with Andrew Bynum and his fellow reserves: Matt Barnes, Andrew Goudelock and Jason Kapono, in hopes of giving Bynum a reliable shooter to look to when he is double (and even triple teamed, which was the case in the Lakers’ win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night).
But thus far, Murphy has failed to provide much to warrant the extension in playing time. If Murphy doesn’t start producing soon, Mike Brown may be forced to go back to Josh McRoberts, whose playing time has decreased the most with Murphy playing more minutes.
And don’t think Murphy can’t do it. Five times in his career, the Notre Dame alum has averaged a double-double.
The artist formerly known as Ron Artest is having his worst season as a professional, averaging career lows in most major statistical categories, in addition to his superb defense looking very average.
Some of his decline can he contributed to his age, coming into camp out of shape and failing to carve his niche in Mike Brown’s new offense, in which he has been used as both a starter and the team’s sixth man.
World Peace has always seemed eager to please Kobe Bryant at any costs. So, I am sure the veteran forward would probably be all for using the Kobe System in hopes of revitalizing his play.
Fans have been seeing more of the “White Swan” Pau Gasol this season than they have the “Black Swan” version. Gasol was considered “soft” by many when he was the model of consistency for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the team won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Now, considering Gasol’s overall contribution isn’t as consistent as it once was, starting with his slump in last spring’s postseason, the Spaniard is even more of a candidate for a crash course in the Kobe System.
But in Gasol’s defense, he has played more like his old self during the team’s first two games of their six-game road trip, averaging 18 points and 16 rebounds.