The Golden State Warriors remain an undefeated team this NBA regular season. Following the matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Stephen Curry squad once again proved their dominance. As the Kobe Bryant team aimed to get pass the skills that made Klay Thompson and Draymond Green phenomenal breakout stars, D'Angelo Russell and Roy Hibbert struggled in the hardwood court. These hurdles further pushed down the Los Angeles Lakers, who finished the night with a dismal 77-111 loss to the reigning NBA champs.
One of the most urgent issues plaguing the Los Angeles Lakers is the diminished skills of the Black Mamba. With a number of new basketball stars included in the roster, some critics pointed out that placing Bryant in the starting lineup may no longer serve the NBA team well. Some sports analysts believe that the Los Angeles Lakers should look into adding more to the time rookie Russell spends in the hardwood court. This suggestion is in contrast to the current practice of the Julius Randle squad, which sees Bryant still serving as the major ball handler in the games.
"I'm not really worried about it, honestly," said Bryant, referring to his abysmal performance during the game against the Golden State Warriors, according to the Washington Post. He added, "My shooting will be better. I could've scored 80 tonight. It wouldn't have made a damn difference. We just have bigger problems. I could be out there averaging 35 points a game. We'd be what, 3-11? We've got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that's going to keep us in ballgames."
Although Bryant remains optimistic on his ability to eventually bounce back to regain his former glory, some fans of the Los Angeles Lakers feel that his steadying decline is indicative of his need to retire.
"I think your career is over," said Russ Bengtson in his open letter to Bryant published in Complex Magazine. The sports analyst added, "I don't mean at the end of the season, I mean right now. Honestly, the best thing you could do - for your body, for your mind, for your family-is just to pack up that Staples Center locker, take the helicopter back to the coast, and start enjoying life as a former NBA player. It's just not worth it anymore."
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott had also been criticized for his decision not to play Russell more during NBA matches. When questioned on why he opted not to allow the rookie to play throughout the fourth quarter during the difficult game against the Golden State Warriors, Scott shrugged off the criticisms.
"Nah. There's really no reason to," the head coach said via Los Angeles Daily News. He added, "At that particular time we're down 30 [points]," Scott said. "I wanted to get Ryan [Kelly] some time and Marcelo [Huertas] as well and some other guys that haven't played a lot."