Kobe Fan vs. Laker Fan
Based on true events.
Kobe Fan: Kobe is leading the league in scoring and minutes played. He’s back and he’s proved all of you haters wrong!
Laker Fan: True, but his offensive efficiency stands at a career low. We’re actually worse with him playing than without which may actually be a good thing.
Kobe Fan: What do you mean worse? This collection of D League All Stars is nothing without the Mamba baby. Vino!!!!!!!!
Laker Fan: They are a much better team when he is on the bench. I am more than ok with him playing this way though. He makes us worse. I see no benefit in winning 35 games instead of 25 games with this team. I want to see him score and shoot like you do, but he is and will be a net negative for the next two years.
Kobe Fan: I smell that hatin ass breath. Kobe is all-time top 15 in minutes played, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made and attempted, steals and points.
Laker Fan: Kobe is one of the top 15 players in NBA history, but the Lakers are worse when he plays which, again, is what I want. Karl Towns and Okafor are the future and will bring low post play back to the center position in the NBA. One of them will continue the lineage of great Laker centers.
Kobe Fan: Stop saying that they’re worse! They aren’t! He’s all they got.
Laker Fan: That very well maybe, but Kobe has never had a great impact on the team. His career-best season (2005–06) by Offensive Box Plus-Minus (a box score-derived per-100 possession estimate of a player’s offensive impact) ranks just 37th all-time. (For what it’s worth, Tracy McGrady, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Dwyane Wade all make multiple appearances above him on that particular list.)
Kobe Fan: I count three combined rings on that list above. That’s 2 less than Kobe’s 5.
Laker Fan: I miss those days when we had players that could mitigate Kobe’s poor shooting due to questionable shot selection and overall ball dominance. They stick out now more than ever.
Kobe Fan: I can’t understand that. Tell me what it means. You’re some kind of stat dork and have obviously never played the game at a high level. Kobe has done things on a basketball court you could never even dream of.
Laker Fan: Agreed. Anyway, it means Kobe is leading the NBA in possession usage (he’s currently at the second-highest mark of his career), but he’s doing it with a career-low 49.1 true shooting percentage (TS%). Before you ask, usage is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor. True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.
Kobe Fan: I knew what they were. And?
Laker Fan: And that means a fairly large percentage of Laker possessions end up with a shot from someone who is not a very good shooter right now. Perfect for losing games and landing a high draft pick. Carry on Kobe.
Kobe Fan: You smokin that stuff. Kobe’s jumper is one of the wettest in NBA history.
Laker Fan: Kobe’s usage is setting a pace that would go down as one of the highest marks ever while he’s putting up a horrifically low level of scoring efficiency. Several of the marks loosely clustered around him belong to Allen Iverson. As great as they both were, two iso scorers, relics of an NBA two decades past, if I ever saw a pair.
Kobe Fan: He’s playing with bums. Who else is going to score?
Laker Fan: Almost everyone apparently.
Kobe Fan: Again with the stats. You don’t watch him play.
Laker Fan: Who isn’t watching this man gun us out of games right now? It’s the best show on t.v. Everyone’s usage rate rises when Kobe is out. Robert Sacre and Nick Young shoot slightly worse, and Jeremy Lin and Wesley Johnson fall off hard. Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill improve dramatically when more opportunity becomes available to them, while Ed Davis and Wayne Ellington have also looked great with more chances.
Kobe Fan: Are you listening to yourself? Look at the names you are talking about?
Laker Fan: I agree. Terrible names, but you asked the question. If we wanted to win, we’d probably be better off with a Lin, Ellington, Young, Davis and Hill lineup with Kobe as a 6th man (like Jordan did for the Wizards) and Boozer/Sacre backing up the 4 and the 5. I don’t want us to do that though because that would make us a 30 win team instead of a 20-25 win team further jeopardizing us getting Emmanuel Mudiay, an explosive 6’5″ point guard who is rock solid defensively at the tender age of 19.
Kobe Fan: They are just better by default. It’s easy to be when your mopping up in garbage time. Kobe leads the league in minutes, and he’s out there when it matters.
Laker Fan: The Lakers’ offense is 5.1 points worse per 100 possessions when Kobe is on the floor. The Lakers’ defense is also 15.5 points better without Kobe. He leads the league in usage and per-game scoring, and our offense is markedlly better without him. It’s not that he’s playing poorly. He is just old and has little impact on the game beyond shooting a lot and all that entails.
Kobe Fan: Lakers ownership needs the Black Mamba to keep Staples Center full and the Time Warner Cable check-writing suits happy. The way to do that is through the fact that Kobe can do something amazing on any given night.
Laker Fan: Agreed. Just know that he’s hurting us way more than he’s helping us in a quest to be amazing every single night. I support that.