Sports Reference Blog

NY Times: Bryant Has the Stats Of a Not-Quite-M.V.P.

Posted by Justin Kubatko on March 14, 2012

This column was supposed to appear in the New York Times last week, but due to an editorial snafu it was never published. However, the piece was so good (ha-ha) that they asked me to update it and it was published in today's paper:

Bryant Has the Stats Of a Not-Quite-M.V.P.

I will probably write a column for the weekend NYT as well.

4 Responses to “NY Times: Bryant Has the Stats Of a Not-Quite-M.V.P.”

  1. Yahoo! Says:

    What a stupid argument. Fg% and Gasol/Bynum? Gasol is shooting 50% and Bynum is only shooting 56%. By comparison, Gasol shot 57% in the triangle. Every player on the roster is shooting worse, under Mike Brown than under Phil Jackson. Why? Pace. An offense that starts with only 10 seconds left on the clock, 14 seconds are "shaved" before the first entry pass is made, and their shots tend to be highly contested. Also the post is the easiest spot on the court to double-team thanks to the legal zone. Ideally, you wouldn't want Kobe taking 5 3-pointers a night, not with the finger and wrist injuries, but given circumstances, he has been forced to bail out the offense (or take the shot clock violation) more often than not.

    Without him? Fisher and Artest make up the worst backcourt in history. Heat have won without Wade and James. Bosh and Chalmers were 20 per night scorers. Thunder have Westbrook and Harden without Durant and Ibaka seems to be automatic from 15-feet. And the Bulls have won without Rose. They have considerably more offensive talent. It's so bad that at the trade deadline LA got a backup PG (Jennings, Flynn, Irving), by replacing Fisher, the team looks as if it's run by CP3. Not even sure Sessions would start in Miami, Oklahoma City, and Chicago.

  2. Bob Says:

    Wonderful article. The NY Times sees what an true basketball fan sees: Kobe is what he has always been--a selfish shotjacker, who frequently makes his team worse when he's on the court. Add onto this Bryant's sky-high usage rate, and ridiculous amount of 3PT shots he's taking given his %, and Bryant should actually be on the short list of LEAST valuable players.

  3. Jason Says:

    Hard to envision a guy with 5 championships having always been a guy who "frequently makes his team worse when he's on the court." Remind me who else has 5 rings at present in the NBA...last I checked rings are the result of team performance.

    (I should also note that when that argument of "selfish shotjacker" was presumed to have validity, five, six years ago, Kobe had Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, and Lamar Odom as his other 4 starters. Parker, Brown, and Mihm each averaged 10 per game, a number they've never remotely approached at any other point in their careers. Anyone arguing that Kobe makes his team worse when he's on the court needs their head checked.)

    Also, Bob, when you use the indefinite articles a and an, you put "a" before words starting with consonants and "an" before words beginning with vowels (and for those proper fellows, starting with h). Perhaps you meant to put "any," though one can never be sure, because the argument you present is consistent with not knowing how to use articles of speech.

  4. Bob Says:

    No, it isn't hard to envision someone with 5 rings currently frequently making his team worse.

    As well, you contradict yourself. If rings are a result of team performance (an obvious statement and fact), then the fact that someone has 5 rings does not bear on that individual's performance. Thus, the prior rings argument is wholly and totally irrelevant.

    Kobe has the third worst 3PT% EVER this season for a player taking 4.6 or more 3PTers per game. His expected point production/shot taken is by far the worst in the league amongst top scorers, meaning Kobe is obtaining his production via "shotjacking".

    This is all the more unforgivable given the rise of Andrew Bynum, and how incredibly efficient he has been, especially relative to Kobe.

    L.A. would be better off limiting Kobe's minutes/shots, and giving those more to Gasol and Bynum.

    We thought Kobe had finally grown up and learned his lesson a few weeks back when he said L.A. is now a team which is "inside-out". Kobe then proceeded to shot jack his FG% down to 43% for the season.

    Pitiful, and out of the conversation for MVP. Solidly in the conversation for LEAST valuable player.