Following the Western Conference's 143-138 victory over the Eastern Conference in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, Bryant told reporters that "passing" will take "precedence" over everything else in the second-half (via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):
After the All-Star game, @kobebryant said he needs to be both a facilitator & a scorer for LAL, but passing “takes precedence.”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 18, 2013
For those wondering, he's not kidding.
Prior to the All-Star break, the Black Mamba had dished out at least seven assists in nine of his last 12 games. He also finished the All-Star game with eight assists, second-most of the night behind Chris Paul.
Which is great news for Los Angeles.
The Lakers are 12-7 when Bryant drops seven or more dimes, and 17-9 when he dishes out more than five. Ergo, the more he passes, the more Los Angeles wins.
For the Lakers to make the playoffs, what must Kobe Bryant's primary focus be?
Four games under .500 and 3.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Lakers need to win. A lot.
So count on Bryant to pass. Count on him to run the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard more. Count on him to drive-and-kick to Steve Nash and Earl Clark. Count on him to lead Los Angeles with his court vision, not serial shooting.
Count on him to propel the Lakers into the postseason.
Just count on him in general.
The way we have for nearly two decades.
*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports and 82games.com unless otherwise noted.