Kobe took responsibility for the loss (bad shooting) and requested all blame for Lakers' season also go on him to ease others' burdens.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 20, 2013
Clearly, leadership isn't the problem in Tinseltown. The Lakers have plenty of it in Kobe.
They also have part of the solution. Though he shot 10-of-32 from the floor in Los Angeles' loss to Toronto, he remains the league's leading scorer, as well as the heart, soul and end-all for this club.
I refuse to hold Bryant fully responsible for the Lakers' dismal season. This faction has failed together. If anything, Bryant is the sole reason why that beacon of hope in the City of Angels hasn't disappeared.
Does Kobe need to play more consistent defense? Must he refrain from taking more shots than the opposition's starting lineup from time to time (kidding)?
This one is on meCouldn't throw the ball in the ocean if I was sitting on a boat. Had plenty of easy looks#noexcuses gotta get my legs back— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 20, 2013
Of course, but the Lakers as a collective must defend better, take better care of the ball and be more aware of the decisions they're making.
Bryant is responsible for keeping this team alive, not Steve Nash's precise passing, Dwight Howard's defense or Mike D'Antoni's mustache.
I don't see Nash, D'Antoni, Howard or anyone else stepping up and assuming responsibility for Los Angeles' transgressions. I don't see any of them attempting to make the emotional aspect of the game easier on the rest of their crew. I don't see any of them burdening themselves with the trials and tribulations of the entire organization.
Admittedly, none of them are obligated to. Again, this is a cumulative failure. Let's not pretend that the Lakers didn't need something like this, though.
Kobe is ready to bear the Herculean afflictions of this entire cadre. His previous assertion that he needs more help from his teammates was not unfounded, but it is something he's prepared to move on without.
Hell-bent on turning this season around, Bryant is ready to do whatever it takes. Even if that means he must do it alone.
The Lakers really can count on Kobe.
*All stats in this article are accurate as of January 20, 2013.