The Lakers started the 2010-11 season with great hopes. Kobe needed just one more title to tie with Michael Jordan’s championship ring total. The team was raring to go, but were razed to the ground by the Mavericks. Not getting past the playoffs is always embarrassing, but with the way the mighty Lakers went out, the fans are none too pleased with that.
The season was disappointing indeed. However, Lakers will remain the same team, one of the best ever. They were predicted to win the title this year, but several weaknesses were exposed during the playoffs. But it doesn’t mean that Kobe can’t lead the Lakers back to where they rightly belong.
Lakers had a three-peat from 2000 to 2002. During this time, Kobe with his sheer athleticism and on-court brilliance, dominated all guards and scored as and when he wanted because the defenders just could not match the perseverance and aggressiveness he displayed. Kobe then led the Lakers to titles in 2009 and 2010. He was at the peak of his game. With his improved jump shot and a great post-game, Kobe was a joy to watch.
This season, Kobe was not able to dominate guards the way that he had been able to during his previous games. He was not at the top of his game, that much was evident.
Kobe will now need to change his game plan to lead the Lakers to victory. He must now slowly shift from his role of dominator to that of a facilitator. At 31, Kobe is still incredible, but he is no longer the best player in the league. Kobe must think more about facilitating for the Lakers to win games.