I REALLY wish that people would stop solely looking at FG% to compare players that play different. The correct stat to look at when comparing slashers to shooters (or any scorer for that matter) is points per shot attempt. Kobe's FG% is going to be lower than someone like Michael Jordan, because Jordan attacked the rim more and Kobe shoots more 3's. The typical Kobe basher will say "well, he should stop taking so many 3's", but when you look at points per shot attempt it shows that they are as close as can be scoring wise. When you look at that, it looks like this:
Kobe Bryant: 1.30
Michael Jordan: 1.31
Comparing points per attempt is not a good way to determine efficiency, especially in the sense of team efficiency.
I'm not going to do a PFFL way too long statistical post about why that is. But as a former basketball player I believe that it is a big time fallacy to say that a 40% 3 point shooter is as effective as a 60% 2 point shooter. Although mathematically this is true, in real game situations it is false. Or at the very least overstated and misleading.
Kobe definitely did not shoot too much in 05-06. I'm not sure that a superstar has ever been surrounded by a worst supporting cast than Kobe Bryant was in 2005-2006.
PG: Smush Parker
SF: Lamar Odom
PF: Brian Cook
C: Kwame Brown / Chris Mihm
Who was he going to pass to? LOL that is an AWFUL lineup... Kobe probably didn't take enough shots.
However I do agree that Gasol and Howard need more shots, but that's a product of the offense, not because of Kobe. Under the Princeton offense with Mike Brown, Dwight was scoring 22 ppg, Gasol had the most touches overall and Kobe was averaging 17-18 shots per game. Mike D'Atoni's offense just doesn't work that well with bigs unless they are running the pick and roll. If you actually watch the Lakers play you will see that Kobe will go stretches without shooting or really touching the ball... Steve Nash controls the offense and makes all of the decisions... he just happens to realize that Kobe has been amazing on offense this year while Dwight and Gasol have been underwhelming. I do think that as the season goes on Dwight will get more shots (and I ultimately think Gasol gets traded as he just doesn't fit the offense at this juncture).
I alluded to the fact that Kobe's supporting cast was pretty weak in 05-06. Even though they weren't great NBA players, they were still NBA players. You will never convince me that a perimeter player shooting on average 27.2 times a game is a good thing. you cannot run an effective offense with one guy (especially a perimeter guy) is having to take that many shots, unless that player is uniquely gifted. Off the top of my head I can only think of one person who would fit that bill and that was MJ.
LeBron is a very unselfish player. It's like Kobe said... LeBron isn't a 1 on 1 guy that is aggressively looking to score. He's a guy that's going to look to make plays for others 1st and then score (a reason why he isn't a great last shot taker -- because he isn't a great shot creator -- the offense needs to come to him). Kobe at heart is a 1 on 1 player that will always look to score first. He can create plays for others and he does make others better. He's led the Lakers in assists and has been the primary playmaker for the Lakers for the last 14 years or so... to say that he doesn't make his teammates better is mediocre at best.
Lebron is a one on one player. A great one. Probably the best one in the NBA. He just reacts to what the defense is doing. I don't want to sound like I am sucking the guy's teat too much, but he plays the game the right way. He is a guy that can dominate a game and only score 12-14 points. Kobe cannot really do that.
Lebron is way more difficult to defend than Kobe Bryant because you have to defend him and the other 4 guys on the court. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean by one on one, but the game isn't played one on one. It is played 5 on 5 and Lebron could make a guy like Booby Gibson look like a legitimate player in the NBA
I do completely agree with you that the Lakers are a better team when Kobe is shooting under 20 times per game. Balance is always good in the NBA and everyone needs to be involved on offense to play hard on defense... it's just the way it is. The only problem is that Dwight is only 70% healthy at best, Gasol is half the man he used to be and Steve Nash can only do so much. MWP is playing his best offensively as a Laker, and Nash is fantastic, but our bigs are ineffective right now and until they get healthier we'll have to rely on Kobe Bryant to shoot 20+ times per game. If not for Kobe the Lakers would be well below .500 and that is a fact. Kobe Bryant is currently 4th in the NBA in win shares (5.6), 3rd in the NBA in wins added (9) and 2nd in the NBA in simple rating (16.3). When Kobe is off the court the Lakers are +6.2 and when Kobe is off the court the Lakers are -14.2. I agree, though... it shouldn't be like this... not this year... not when the Lakers have so much talent (injured, but talented). These other guys need to step up.
The first sentence of this paragraph is been my main point (outside of the public ridiculing of teammates, public calling out of coaches, undermining Shaq, and lack of self awareness). But talking strictly about his play on the court, the team is better when he shoots under 20 times a game.
The problem is he has no faith in his teammates. He has always had good players around him (with the exception of the couple of years after Shaq left) and yet he always decides the best chance for them to win is for him to shoot. He shoots them out of as many games as he wins.
But I do think that anytime you get this many good players together it takes a while for everybody to settle into new roles. For the most part Lebron and Bosh's first year in Miami was sloppy.
But I fear Kobe's play is actually slowing the process of his teammates getting into a groove, because it is the Kobe show and everyone else is a spectator.
As far as coach D'antoni goes, I didn't like that hire when it happened and I haven't seen anything to change my mind. I think he is a really good coach but his style os a bad fit for the Laker's personnel.