Kobe Bryant Retirement – Better Now Than Later

Willie Mays, honored this past week as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was quite possibly one of the ten greatest baseball players ever, and during much of his career was widely regarded as the game’s greatest active player. The same platitudes apply to Kobe Bryant, and the similarity does not end there. Mays stayed too long, and his final season was a total embarrassment to himself and to the sport of baseball. Unfortunately, the same is true of Kobe’s final season, as he continues to play for the Lakers, embarrassing himself, harming the memory of his past greatness, and for the future of the Lakers, in conjunction with the ineptitude and total on court mismanagement being done

by coach Byron Scott, he is making a mockery of the team’s supposed rebuilding process,

Kobe needs to retire not on April 13, 2016, but rather now, and if that were to happen, he needs to take Scott with him.

16 games into the 2015-2016 NBA season, several things regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, all describe and/or predicted here long ago, seem abundantly clear:
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  1. This team, off to a 2-14 start (as opposed to last seasons’s 3-13 start), is far worse than last year’s record-setting team that finished 21-61 with a franchise-worst-ever .256 winning percentage
  2. Kobe Bryant’s days as an effective and game-controlling NBA player are not just over, but he has regressed to a level far below any measure of NBA standards
  3. Byron Scott is the wrong coach for this team, contributing to mistake after mistake in the supposed rebuilding process
  4. Lakers’ management hasn’t a clue as to what they are doing

Kobe is shooting not just a career low 30.5%, but almost 15% lower than his career percentage of 45%. Discounting last year’s 35-game season, it’s his worst shooting since the 41.7% of his rookie year. His current 19.7% three-point shooting percentage is more than a full one-third lower than his lifetime 33.1%. His playing time is depriving young players – potentially part of the future of the Lakers’ franchise, valuable playing time. But

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that is par for the course under coach Scott, who obviously is missing the page containing the word “rebuild” from his dictionary.

The Lakers’ incompetent brain trust saw fit to sign aging veterans including Brandon Bass and Lou Williams, retain the worthless one-dimensional ego-centric me-first former trojan scum nick young, sign 32-year-old rookie Marcelo Huertas, and in the worst conceived move the franchise has made
in years, bring back the psycho unindicted felon ron meta tag psycho artest thing. So, we have games like last night’s loss to Indiana, a game meaningless in the standings for a team that will never see .500 this season, where you have over the hill veterans and journeyman third-stringers like Kobe, young, artest and Bass stealing, in order, 30 minutes, 28 minutes, 27 minutes and 18 minutes, while talented youngsters such as Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly, who may or may not have futures in the NBA, sit idly by, never leaving the bench. And, don’t forget, two of the Lakers’ three players on whom they have in effect “mortgaged” the future, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, played a grand total of 53 minutes between them, sitting out and wasting the time they should be learning and experiencing the NBA. Three minutes into the fourth quarter Russell missed a 25-foot jumper and was pulled from the game, never to return.

The young guys need to play and develop, or show that they cannot play. And for those other spots, ship off as many of the journeymen who have enough value to obtain something in return, and dump the rest for a bag of popcorn, if necessary.

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