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Of the 30,699 shots, he missed 16,966 and made 13,731.

At the smallest level of performance it is nice to see that you can fail more often than you succeed and still be very successful over all.

There's a famous Kobe quote on his philosophy on failing. During a conversation at some game:

"Deron Williams went like 0-9. I was like, 'Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?' Kobe was like, 'I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.'"

A similar quote by Michael Jordan: “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

> I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Which is also true for the worst players in NBA history, with the exception of the causality and the success.

If you quit you don't have a chance to get better.

Similarly, I saw/read an interview with Hall-of-Fame point guard Isiah Thomas where he was asked why he always took the big shots in the critical moments.

(IIRC He didn't mention the obvious, that he was the best player on the team.) He said it was because he practiced the most, which was plausible, and because he could miss the shot. He said for if some players miss that shot, it crushes them; they don't recover. He could take it, miss it, and take it again the next day without it affecting his focus.

He made a few of those shots and led his team to two NBA titles. The first one was the year after he threw away a pass and the game in the playoffs, an unforced error that cost his team their first trip to the NBA Championship:


Reminds me of the Jordan commercial [1] where he mentions he lost more than 9000 shots in his career, lost almost 300 games and missed 26 game winning shots. Amazing commercial (like most Nike commercials).

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45mMioJ5szc

Unrelated, but we have really hit a new low as a society if we are discussing the aesthetic qualities of shoe commercials.

If something as banal as a shoe commercial has a legitimately inspirational message about failure and success, you could argue society has reached a new high.

Hah! Perhaps. I don't think you can call it banal considering the investment, however—it's straight-up propaganda. I highly doubt Kobe's three-point shot has anything to do with his using Nikes.

shot percentage is a pretty arbitrary stat. a .350 batting average is also very good. a .900 hockey goalsave percentage is abysmal. to keep with the sports metaphor, you can always move your goalposts.

Apples to apples shot percentage is a great stat.

My biggest complaint with Kobe is that he scored a lot of points because he took a lot of shots. Last night for example, he took ~60% of shots from the field for his team which accounted for ~55% (ignoring FTs). In other words, the expected return on his shot was lower than the rest of his team. Now, FTs change that story a bit, but even in the best case scenario he breaks even with his team.

Kobe was a great leader on the court, which is what allowed him to get away with shooting more shots than the rest of his team combined on a regular basis. He also had this "The Lakers are built around Kobe" team structure that made that the expectation.

I mean, I would argue that last night is an outlier. The game plan was to give the ball to Kobe, they wanted him to shoot.

Look at his career and I think it's a different story.

> My biggest complaint with Kobe is that he scored a lot of points because he took a lot of shots.

Isn't that the point of basketball?

The point is to make shots, not just take them.

EDIT: There's roughly a finite number of shots a team can take in a game. If one player takes most of the shots, then sure they will score a lot of points. But are they maximizing team points? If other members of the team have a higher shooting percentage then taking less shots and passing the ball around will be advantageous.

This doesn't account for the possibility that his teammates have a higher percentage because Kobe is the biggest threat to take a shot and the opposing team sets up to defend accordingly.

The point is to out score your opponent.

As a team. Not as an individual. Kobe taking 50 shots and going for 40+ is orthogonal to the team winning.

Lakers win-loss record w/ Kobe Bryant (up to 2013):

Regular Season: 878-468 (.652) Post Season: 137-89 (.606)

There is a strong correlation between Kobe Bryant's scoring, and winning Laker's seasons.

Kobe Bryant being integral to the Laker's success is absolutely correct. The Laker's made the strategic decision to structure everything around him and it worked well. No doubt that would have failed with a less talented individual.

However, it is important to view his accomplishments in that light. He scored 40+ points in games because the team basically said "Let's have Kobe score 40+ points today". Because of that, his absolute point totals aren't great markers for individual talent.

I wonder if on some forum for Basketball fans somewhere, some folks are sitting around discussing PG's impact on technology and startups.

I've quoted pg on a basketball forum before.

not all shots are created equal - the "long 2" has a lower expected value than taking a few steps back for a 3-pointer, or finishing at the rim for an easier 2

we can't really hold kobe's last game against him imo - he's definitely been a ballhog but if it's his last game he should have the opportunity to shoot until his arms fall off

I thought it was a wonderful and fitting final game. Kobe playing like he has his whole career. It was great.

The point of basketball is to sell tickets and paraphernalia, and he's got that part covered. I'm sure the owners are perfectly happy.


The two are not mutually exclusive!

It's a team sport, though. There's more players than Kobe out there.

How many of those players are as skilled as Kobe?

The biggest knock people seem to have against Kobe is that unlike Jordan, he didn't elevate the game of his teammates.

Which I find to be a pretty weird idea. The list of players that played their best while playing with Kobe is long and varied.

It's only arbitrary when using it against non-comparable stats. For example, comparing shot percentage to goal save percentage is pointless, because they measure completely different stats.

A quick search shows that an NHL team will generally get around 30 shots per game. If your goal save percentage is about 45%, then you're not going to have a career much longer when the rest of the league hovers around 94%.

VCs win with an average hit percentage of .100. A lucky lottery player would win with an average of .0000001.

If you factor in that he made those shots against many other highly paid and highly skilled players defending against him, those numbers are great.

remember when kobe posterized nash in the postseason?

probably a charge, but DAMN that was an epic play.

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