Kobe Bryant: Why LA Lakers Will Die by the Kobe System in the 2012 NBA Playoffs

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds his face mask during the second of the Lakers loss to the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 7, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Washington Wizards. This was not just any kind of fall. This was a “dropped a 21-point lead and watched Kobe Bryant go into ‘head down’ mode” type of fall.

When Kobe Bryant gets into that stage of the game, things usually go in the right direction. Of course Bryant air-balls a few horrible shot selections, misses a bevy of jumpers and makes everyone forget there are other players on the team.

The team with the least resolve in the league walked away with a five-point win over Black Mamba and the Funky Bunch and the Lakers fell to a fan-less franchise.

The last two losses for the Lakers (they fell to Detroit prior to the Washington game) after their “signature win” against the Miami Heat, have been embarrassing. Sure, they have been on the road, but road wins are made so difficult because of the travel, the jet-lag, and the fans.

The Detroit Pistons’ fans have become so uninvolved over the years and the Washington fans have been known to boo their own players. There was nothing working in either team’s favor when they faced Los Angeles. Other than the Lakers shooting themselves in the foot possession after possession, that is.

The most telling factor of the Lakers’ most recent loss would have to be Bryant’s obvious state of delirium concerning his teammates. Bryant scored 30 points but he was 9-31.  

What did his teammates do? Well, the better question may be what could they do?


When Bryant takes over the game, for better or worse, his teammates are relegated to spectators.

This is Kobe Bryant’s squad and what he says goes. With a new head coach still trying to find his way in the franchise, Bryant is the closest thing to an efficient and respected play-caller this team is going to get. Mike Brown is for show at the moment as the Lakers continue to live and die by the Kobe System.

Things seemed so perfect after the Miami Heat game. They beat a team that most would deem the best in the league.

The Lakers won a tightly contested game against a postseason contender and the future looked bright.

Since the Lakers, as long as Kobe is in the lineup, are going to live and die by the Kobe system, what will happen to them in the postseason?

Don’t think too long because the prediction is easy.

It is sad to say because everyone loves to see a player of Kobe’s stature shine for the duration of his career. No one likes to see a nasty exit.

Odds are this will happen to Bryant.

But, it will not be all his fault. The success of the Lakers may seem as if it falls squarely on his shoulders, but there are actually other players on the team. Actually, some quite competent ones.


Head-down, ‘get the hell out of the way’ Kobe has been rearing his ugly head for quite some time. But it only gets ugly when things go bad.

Kobe Bryant has had a great career. As it stands, Bryant will probably end up walking away from the game with five rings, not the illustrious six.

The Lakers' playoff run this postseason will be quick. They will be there, but no one expects much noise. There will be a few highlights, but no progression.

Everyone has been waiting for the moment when the Lakers become irrelevant. That time is not here yet, but it is quickly approaching.


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