Before the Los Angeles Lakers became the latest victim of the Golden State Warriors' historic 16-0 start, losing 111-77 in a game that really never even felt as close as the final margin, Shane Battier joined NBA analyst Zach Lowe on the latest episode of "The Lowe Post." After the former Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, and Memphis Grizzlies forward voiced his optimism about the Lakers' future, Lowe responded by discussing how hard it's become to watch the Lakers in the present.
"I'm going to make a statement right now, you can disagree with it, you can throw your phone away and not talk and not address it: Kobe Bryant is the single most detrimental player in the NBA. Period," said Lowe. "He's not the worst player in the NBA because, like, Dewayne Dedmon is worse than Kobe Bryant, but Dewayne Dedmon plays like five minutes a game and doesn't really do anything, sometimes he plays 12 or 13 and blocks some shots. Kobe Bryant plays a lot of minutes and does a lot of horrible things. He is the single most detrimental to his team player in the NBA, full-stop, and I don't take any pleasure in saying that because I loved watching prime Kobe Bryant."
Battier gave a light defense of the man he became famous for trying to stop during the prime of their careers. "It hurts me we are having this conversation, Kobe is the greatest competitor I've ever played against," explained Battier. "I'm not going to say Kobe is the most detrimental player in the league right now, because there are guys with I think worse attitudes that are more detrimental to their teams right now."
However, Battier was still forced to admit "Kobe is in maybe in the bottom-five players in terms of helping his teammates be the best version of themselves." It is hard to even argue with the analysis of either man. After tying the worst shooting performance of his career with a 1-14 outing against the Warriors, Bryant is is shooting 31.1% from the field and 19.5% on three pointers while still using 28.4% of the Lakers' possessions while on the floor in an increasingly embarrassing and sad display.
As Lowe notes, there is really only one potential positive of Bryant's current gunning. "Maybe he's helping the 2019 Lakers win basketball games by getting them Ben Simmons or one of these other top-three picks," said Lowe. But with the Lakers owing their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls outside of the top-three, the Lakers' current odds of keeping (44.2%) it are only marginally better than the chances of Kobe hitting one of his fade-away heaves. Those are not the type of odds you want to stake the future of the franchise on.