Individual Accolades? Whatever. Last night, Kobe Bryant brushed off the opportunity to be the center of attention in the NBA. You know if he was gunning last night Twitter would have been on fire. It was must watch TV. Pure entertainment. But you see, that's not Kobe anymore. What we have now is Zen Kobe.
"There was no question in his mind," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said of Bryant. "Not one time did he ever hint to me that he was going to play.... He thinks it's best for him and best for the team."
Bryant needed 38 points to surpass Durant for what would have been his third scoring title and first since the 2006-07 season. Bryant had reached that single-game scoring threshold seven times this season but has said since last week that the scoring title was "not very important" to him.
Kobe's biggest concern at this moment is the Lakers first round opponent, the Denver Nuggets, and their high speed attack. Although the Lakers lead the season series against the Nuggets 3-1, the Nuggets have added a few new pieces and come into the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. With the absence of World Peace for the next 6 games, Ebanks will start at the small forward spot. The Lakers have to be worried about the blistering pace at which the Nuggets play, a style which has given the Lakers fits this season. Therefore, the key matchup will be Ramon Sessions vs. Ty Lawson, who has emerged into a dangerous offensive weapon.