He missed 11 of 14 shots including the potential game winner in a 104-103 loss to the Thunder.
Bryant took the final shot despite having a horrible shooting night.
Jeremy Lin on the other hand had one of this better games of the season hitting on 5 of 7 in just 22 minutes of play to go along with 8 rebounds. Lin set up the final shot when he hit a 15 footer with 32.5 seconds to play to bring the Lakers to within just 1.
After the game, reporters asked coach Byron Scott why Bryant was allowed to take the final shot on such an off night.
“32,000-plus points,” Scott answered referring to Bryant’s career totals.
Lin said he understood why the final play went to Bryant, but expressed confidence he could have hit the game winner.
“I like game winners, too. I’d love to shoot some, but I get it.” He called Kobe the “king of game winners.”
If I was Scott, I would have given the final shot to Bryant too. The man has proven he is clutch.
Lin, on the other hand, has been up and down all year. He needs to reach a level of consistency to gain the trust of both his coach and of Bryant. He hasn’t done that. Heck, I love Lin but he hasn’t proved he’s the man yet.
Until he shows he can take charge, get his teammates involved while keeping Bryant happy, he’ll never get to take the game winning shot for the Lakers. Its part of Lin’s maturation process.
It’s one that’s going to need to go on the fast track this season if he wants to be still a Laker next season.