NBA

Would the Lakers be Better Without Kobe?

The Lakers have graced a few headlines in the last couple days with their on court play. Last night, Ryan Kelly came through with a posterizing, game-ending slam. The game prior, The young Lakers were able to land a solid W against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Mind you, It’s fucking pre-season and this shit does NOT matter – but it’s worth taking note that the Black Mamba hasn’t played these last two games…Two games that happen to be their only wins against other NBA teams thus far.

Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Larry Nance Jr. make up the last two Lakeshow draft classes. Panning out rapidly, these guys are living proof that GM Mitch Kupchack still has the magic touch. Off season additions of Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass fit into the youthful rythym like a fucking glove. Again, it’s only preseason.

The real question is – Are the Lakers good? or just appearing to be decent in comparison to their last few seasons?

If they are an actual contender, then Kobe could definitely be a help to the squad. If they are a 40 win team praying for an 8th seed, Kobe is holding back franchise progression and these young kids’ development.

A Sportsline Simulation crunched some numbers that predict LA’s Playoff chances with/without the Black Mamba..

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers
LA Lakers WINS WIN% PLAYOFF%
Current Forecast 29.1 35.5% 0.6%
w/o Kobe Bryant 33.5 40.9% 5.1%
IMPACT 4.4 5.4% 4.5%

 

Relax Bro-bes and Mrs.Vinos, This data is based on statistics of the last two seasons in which Bryant only played 41-games.

Irregardless, you’d have to be high to think that a team would have higher playoff chances without a GOAT like KB. It’s something to ponder, maybe debate with your lunch buddies – if the Lakers have a legitimate shot this year than of course you want a clutch, game theiving veteran. If this squad isn’t capable of going on a playoff run at all, then they are better without the Mamba – allowing them to polish new stars and identity. Simple as that.

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