Kobe Bryant: Why He Must Change His Game If He Wants to Win His 6th Title

Kobe Bryant could retire today and be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

His accolades, accomplishments and statistics rank up there with the all-time greats, but to Kobe and so many others, only one number counts—titles. 

Kobe Bryant, entering his 17th season at the age of 33, will have to change his game if he wants to reach the same number of titles as his idol, Michael Jordan. I don't just mean "change" as in Kobe will have to dip his scoring a bit and put his assist numbers up a little—rather I mean a bit of a drastic change.

To put it plainly, he's going to have to become a "role player." Even though it sounds harsh, I can't find many other ways to put it. It's essentially saying that the offense can't and won't go through Bryant anymore. 

When the Lakers were bounced out of the playoffs by the eventual Western Conference champs, the OKC Thunder, most people weren't surprised, as the team was expected to lose. But to be honest, the Lakers had the best shot of beating the Thunder because they had what no other team in the West did—two legit skilled seven-footers in the paint, in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Bynum had his breakout year this season, averaging about 19 points and 12 rebounds and officially becoming the only challenge to Dwight Howard for the best center in the league title. Gasol, while getting up there in age at 31, is still a highly skilled PF who's been severely under-utilized in the Lakers' offense this season. 

The main reason the Lakers lost the series against the OKC Thunder was simple—Kobe Bryant.

Bryant's unwillingness to let the offense go through the bigs down low and play inside-out was the main reason for the Lakers' loss to the Thunder. Bryant would dribble down the court numerous times and, without even setting up the offense or letting one of the bigs get a touch, would immediately jack up a shot t...

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