Can Kobe Bryant get the Lakers back on track?

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Can Kobe Bryant get the Lakers back on track?
Kobe Bryant (#24) shoots over Danny Green in the first half of the game on Friday, November 14. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

By TAYMOUR MOWAFAK
Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Lakers started the 2014-2015 National Basketball Association (NBA) season roughly. The team has already lost rookie Julius Randle in a leg injury, putting all the pressure on Kobe Bryant. Bryant has been playing with the Lakers since 1996 and has been a crucial player. He has led the team to five NBA championships and has been named the Most Valuable Player in the NBA finals twice. At the age of 36, Bryant averages 27.5 points per game. However, on Friday November 14, Bryant had one of his all-time worst games against the San Antonio Spurs. He went 1 for 14 from the floor and missed his first 10 shots of the game. His first successful field goal attempt was made in the final quarter. The Lakers record after the Spurs game was 1-8, the team’s  worst record in franchise history.

After the game, Bryant admitted to wishing that he and the other members of the 2009 and 2010 Lakers team that had captured the national championship had remained together. Bryant told ESPN in the post-game conference that “I don’t know if I can express to you how jealous I am of the fact that Tim, Tony [Parker], Manu [Ginobili] and Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] have all been together for all those years. Like, I can’t even … I can’t express to you how jealous I am of that. Not all this up-and-down stuff. It would be like if me, Pau, L.O. and Phil, if we were all just here, still.”

Last season, Bryant managed to secure a spot in the playoffs for the Lakers. This year will be considerably more difficult for Bryant because the team is much weaker due to injuries, with only ten players able to play against the Spurs on Friday, November 14. A majority of the players are also new to the team.  Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer were traded earlier this season, and have yet to adapt to the playing strategies of the team. Although Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and Jeremy Lin added 15 points for the Lakers, the team has yet to perform well.

Vijay Sachet (Sr.) said, “The Lakers are a great team despite what is happening now. They have a spectacular history and reputation all around, I believe that the Lakers have a very strong chance of getting back on track. It won’t be an easy task, but it’s doable.” Some rumors have been going around lately about Bryant leaving the Lakers and moving on to play with another team, but many people say it is very unlikely. Kenny Situ (Sr.) said, “Kobe is a player with loyalty to his fans. He has been with the Lakers for 17 years, it is very unlikely for a player like him to leave his team that he grew up with and move on to another new team”.

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