Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash Swap Roles


Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Given the bizarre nature of how this season has gone for the Lakers it’s only fitting that an unusual occurrence has sparked a two game win streak with one of those victories being the best to date for the Lake Show. Yesterday the Oklahoma City Thunder became the latest victims of the Kobe Bryant/Steve Nash role reversal.

The Lakers’ starting backcourt has undergone an on-the-fly remodeling with Bryant playing the role of facilitator and Nash settling in as a shooter.

If that seems strange then we can only imagine what might come next in a season of constant surprise.

Over the last two games KB24 has dished out 28 dimes and fallen just one board shy of a triple-double twice. Meanwhile Nash is becoming a spot up shooter as Mamba takes control of the offense.

Hey, if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, right?

Naturally at some point the Lake Show will need Kobe the scorer more than they’ll need Bryant the point guard. Thankfully Nash has done that once or twice in his career so it won’t be a messy transition when it comes time for the backcourt to get back to its natural state.

Of course Kobe’s recent flirtation with playing point guard has only fueled the constant fire of the many pleas for Bryant to share the rock more. While you can’t argue with results there is more to this new found role than simply passing more.

For Kobe this is all about control. Clearly tired of playing a style of ball that just wasn’t working Bryant has taken matters into his own hands by taking the reins. By doing so there is now an established formula for success. However what remains to be seen is how Mike D’Antoni handles the situation going forward.

In some ways Kobe’s gone rogue Palin style. I just don’t see D’Antoni asking Nash to step aside so Bryant can run the show. That would be in stark contrast to his hoops philosophy. So one can estimate that this is all Kobe’s doing.

Whether or not the new Bryant is the result of coaching decision on a mere hoops impulse is irrelevant though. This team needs wins and whatever it takes to more of them is welcomed even if that means redefining the roles of key contributors.