Much of the talk around the Lakers this year has focused on offence systems.
Mike Brown got fired because his offensive system was too rigid. Phil Jackson wasn’t hired because his offensive system would have nullified Steve Nash. And Mike D’Antoni reportedly got the job because his offensive system was perfect for the Lakers roster.
But according to Kobe Bryant, these systems are less important than we think. Here’s what he told Sam Amick of USA Today about how the offensive strategies of specific coaches affect him:
“You know, you can drop me anywhere and I’m going to get you 25, 30 points, you know what I’m saying? So what offenses do, really, is that it has to be something that helps out the role players more than anything. Because when you look at the star players, the numbers are going to be the same – across the board. It doesn’t matter what offence you put in, what defence you put in, my numbers – at the end of the day – are going to look the same, Dwight is going to look the same, Pau is going to look the same. So it’s about, really, how do you get the most out of your role players.”
It’s certainly an unorthodox take, and it’d be interesting to do digging and see if elite players really are immune to changes in offensive strategy.
But on a broader level, Kobe is really arguing that coaching is less important than we think.
Just a few days ago he praised interim Lakers coach Bernie Bickerstaff by saying it’s great that he just got “the f— out of the way.” And his take on offensive system is just an extension of a philosophy that puts players, not coaches at the centre of the NBA universe.
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